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A Child With Dysphagia Lusoria

J. Alex Haller Jr, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(5):480. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460050022020.
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Sir.—I was surprised to read the implication of the article by Martin and associates1 that there was any question about the occurrence of this clinical syndrome in childhood! Their statement that "Dysphagia lusorum has been reported not to occur in children" flies directly in the face of the original report of dysphagia lusoria by Bayford2 before the Medical Society of London in 1787.

This is an account of a teenaged girl who had had such severe swallowing difficulty due to her aberrant right subclavian artery that she ultimately was said to have died of starvation! Throughout childhood she described her symptom complex as though a "wolf was grabbing at the morsel of food as she attempted to swallow it and she was unable to get the food into her stomach." This is a very dramatically told story of a child and subsequent teenager with dysphagia lusoria.

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