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Partial oesophageal perforation associated with cold carbonated beverage ingestion

Hui Jern Loh and David A P Cooke
Med J Aust 2004; 181 (10): 554-555.

We present a rare case of spontaneous intramural oesophageal perforation after the rapid ingestion of a cold carbonated beverage. A previously well patient presented with sudden onset of severe retrosternal pain associated with pain on swallowing. A contrast computed tomography scan and gastroscopy confirmed the diagnosis. With the widespread popular practice of drinking cold carbonated beverages, especially during the summer season, clinicians should be aware of this possible serious complication.

A 57-year-old woman presented to the emergency department with retrosternal chest pain of sudden onset immediately after the isolated intake of a large mouthful of cold carbonated beverage directly from the bottle. The initial severe pain led to a brief loss of consciousness. The pain was continuous, exacerbated by swallowing, and accompanied by mild nausea, but no vomiting. She was previously a fit, healthy woman with no past medical history relevant to the case. She was febrile (37.6oC) and distressed by the pain. Examination was normal except for epigastric tenderness with retrosternal radiation. There were no signs of peritonism.

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  • Hui Jern Loh1
  • David A P Cooke2

  • Department of Surgery, Fremantle Hospital, Fremantle, WA.

Correspondence: 

Competing interests:

None identified.

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