From 1941 to 1959 at the University of Chicago Clinics there have been 33 patients diagnosed as having a congenitally short esophagus. Eight of these had an associated adenocarcinoma at the esophagogastric junction. The significance of this 24% incidence seemed to merit further investigation.
The first reference to esophageal hiatus hernia was made by Ambrose Paré in 1610. The presence of a thoracic stomach with a congenitally short esophagus was described by Richard Bright in 1836. By 1853, Bowditch was able to write a lengthy treatise on diaphragmatic hernia and included the 27 references present in the literature at that time.1 In 1926, Akerlund, introducing his now-famous classification of hiatus hernia, included short esophagus as his third type. Since, the occurrence of short esophagus and hiatus hernia have been often discussed. The presence of an associated esophageal or gastric carcinoma, at first thought to be rare, has