Plummer-Vinson Syndrome – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment
What is Plummer-Vinson syndrome?
Plummer-Vinson syndrome is a condition characterized by dysphagia, iron-deficiency anemia, and esophageal webs. People with this condition have problems swallowing due to small, thin growths of tissue that partially block the upper food pipe (esophagus). The dysphagia is intermittent, painless, and progressive over years, and is limited to solids only.
This disorder is rare and can be linked to cancers of the esophagus and throat. It is more common in women.
What causes Plummer-Vinson syndrome?
What causes Plummer-Vinson syndrome is not known to doctors and scientists. It is believed that genetic factors and nutritional deficiencies may play a role.
What are the symptoms of Plummer-Vinson syndrome?
The following are the symptoms of Plummer-Vinson syndrome:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Atrophic glossitis
How is Plummer-Vinson syndrome diagnosed?
The doctor will perform a physical exam and review your symptoms. The exam focuses on the mouth, skin, and nails to look for any abnormal areas.
The doctor may do tests to check for iron-deficiency anemia. An upper GI series or upper endoscopy may also be ordered to look for abnormal tissue in the food pipe.
How is Plummer-Vinson syndrome treated?
The doctor may recommend iron supplements to improve the swallowing problems.
If supplements don’t work, the doctor may widen the esophageal web of tissue during upper endoscopy. This will allow the affected person to swallow food normally.
This feature is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the expert guidance of a doctor. We advise seeing a doctor if you have any health concerns.