Of six patients with Mallory-Weiss syndrome, none had a history of alcoholism. Hematemesis followed one or more bouts of retching and/or vomiting of nonbloody material in all but one of the patients. This characteristic history permits recognition of the condition in most instances.
Surgical intervention was necessary in each case to control profuse hemorrhage. A generous gastric incision with thorough examination of the cardia and lower esophageal segment is mandatory to locate the lacerations which are then simply oversewn. The successful management of these patients is attributed to increased awareness of the entity and improvement in the supportive care of patients with massive hemorrhage.
A total of 303 cases of Mallory-Weiss syndrome have been reported in the English literature.