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Intramural hematoma of the esophagus: a pictorial essay.

Emergency Radiology 2008 January
Intramural hematoma of the esophagus (IHE) is a rare but well-documented condition that is part of the spectrum of esophageal injuries which includes the more common Mallory-Weiss tear and Boerhaave's syndrome. Acute retrosternal or epigastric pain is a common clinical feature, which can be accompanied by dysphagia, odynophagia, or hematemesis. An early differentiation from Mallory-Weiss tear, Boerhaave syndrome, ruptured aortic aneurysm, aortic dissection, acute myocardial infarction, or pulmonary pathology can be difficult. Computed tomography (CT) is the imaging modality of choice and characteristically reveals a concentric or eccentric thickening of the esophageal wall with well-defined borders and variable degree of obliteration of the lumen. Measurement of the attenuation values within the lesion will reveal blood density which varies according to the age of the hematoma. CT should be considered the preferred diagnostic technique, thereby facilitating proper clinical management. Early diagnosis is crucial as most patients may be treated conservatively with good outcome.

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