Medical Definition of Plummer-Vinson syndrome

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Plummer-Vinson syndrome: Iron deficiency anemia, esophageal webs, and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). The iron deficiency is typically chronic and severe. It triggers the growth of web-like membranes in the throat which cause dysphagia. The syndrome is more common in women. Treatment is iron supplementation and, if need be, dilation of the web to permit normal swallowing and the passage of food. Named after American internist Henry S. Plummer (1874-1937) and surgeon Porter P Vinson (1890-1959). Also known as sideropenic dysphagia and, in the UK, as Paterson-Kelly syndrome.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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