Boerhaave's syndrome: The importance of early diagnosis and treatment

Ann Surg. 1976 Apr;183(4):401-8. doi: 10.1097/00000658-197604000-00013.


Boerhaave's syndrome, spontaneous esophageal rupture, is associated with a 70% survival with surgical intervention. Mortality and morbidity are increased in direct proportion to the time between diagnosis and appropriate surgical intervention. Sepsis, hypovolemia and shock are the predominant causes of morbidity and mortality in Boerhaave's syndrome. Two cases of Boerhaave's syndrome are presented which were diagnosed rapidly, and were managed surgically, resulting in survival of the patients. A review of the literature is also presented with emphasis on the clinical and roentgenologic methods of diagnosis of spontaneous esophageal rupture. Particular attention is given to the fact that early diagnosis and treatment will unquestionably reduce the morbidity of this syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Esophageal Perforation / diagnosis*
  • Esophageal Perforation / etiology
  • Esophageal Perforation / mortality
  • Esophageal Perforation / surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rupture, Spontaneous / diagnosis
  • Rupture, Spontaneous / etiology
  • Rupture, Spontaneous / mortality
  • Rupture, Spontaneous / surgery
  • Syndrome
  • Time Factors
  • Vomiting / complications