RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Importance of iron repletion in the management of Plummer-Vinson syndrome.

Plummer-Vinson syndrome (PVS) is characterized by iron deficiency anemia, upper esophageal stricture, cervical dysphagia, and glossitis. The precise role of iron deficiency in PVS has yet to be defined and remains a subject of much debate. A 29-year-old woman with PVS is presented. The patient had a 4-year history of severe iron deficiency anemia, a 2-year history of progressive dysphagia and weight loss, and a greater than 90% benign upper esophageal stricture. Iron therapy alone resolved her dysphagia and anemia, and a follow-up esophagram 1 year later showed a residual stenosis of less than 30%. The development of severe iron deficiency anemia in this patient 2 years before the onset of dysphagia, as well as the response of the stricture to iron repletion, supports the theory that iron deficiency can cause dysphagia and upper esophageal strictures. The occurrence of glossitis, gastritis, and esophagitis in iron deficiency demonstrates the adverse effects of iron depletion on the rapidly proliferating cells of the upper alimentary tract.

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