Ewha Med J.  2010 Sep;33(2):89-93. 10.12771/emj.2010.33.2.89.

A Case of Death Due to Late Progression of Corrosive Esophagitis after Strong Alkali Ingestion

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Ewha Womans University College of Medicine, Korea. shimkn@ewha.ac.kr


Ingestion of corrosive substances can produce severe injury to the gastrointestinal tract and can even result in death in the acute phase. The extent and degree of damage depends on the type and amount of substances. There are occasional reports of severe contiguous injury to the esophagus and stomach caused by strong alkali ingestion in the acute phase. Usually the deaths occur within a couple of days due to multi-organ failure after ingestion of relatively much amount of agent for a suicidal attempt. But death due to late progression is very rare. We have reported a case of 60-year-old female patient who was diagnosed as corrosive esophagitis after accidental ingestion of strong alkali. Initial endoscopic findings were compatible with IIa-IIa-0(according to Zargar's classification) in the esophagus, stomach and duodenum, respectively. After several weeks of supportive care, her subjective symptoms were much improved during she had been wating for the operation of colon interposition due to esophageal stricture. Metabolic acidosis and thrombocytopenia developed abruptly probably due to upper gastrointestinal tract necrosis and she died when 60 days had passed after the occurrence of initial esophageal injury.


Corrosive esophagitis; Alkali ingestion; Esophageal necrosis
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