Plummer Vinson Syndrome and his treatment

Plummer Vinson Syndrome
Plummer Vinson syndrome (PVS) is the name for a set of the following symptoms: severe anemia due to iron deficiency, difficulty swallowing, atrophic changes in the lining of the mouth, tongue, pharynx and esophagus (nails shaped like a spoon). This syndrome is also called the Patterson - Brown Kelly syndrome.

The cause of the

It is still unknown. Among the presumed causes are lack of iron and other minerals, genetic tendency and autoimmune factors.


PVS was very common in the early and mid-20th century, especially among scandinavian. The late 20th century saw a dramatic decline in the incidence of the disease, probably due to improved nutrition and early addition of iron in the meal.

Occurs typically 40-70. age, and in 90% of cases affecting women.

The clinical picture

Signs and symptoms that occur are: difficulty swallowing solid food, attacks of suffocation, weakness, fatigue and shortness of breath due to anemia, weight loss is a rare, painted with pale skin and mucous membranes, sores in the corners of the mouth (angular cheilitis), inflammation of the tongue (glossitis ), nails like spoons, stricture (narrowing) of the esophagus.


On the Plummer Vinson syndrome is suspected based on symptoms and signs, and the disease is confirmed or ruled out a complete blood count, peripheral blood smear, iron tests: total serum iron, TIBC, UIBC, ferritin, saturation, endoscopic examination of the esophagus, X-ray examination of the esophagus using a contrast.


It is necessary to treat iron deficiency and to seek its cause (bleeding from the digestive system, autoimmune diseases, ...). Most of the symptoms withdrew after you start taking iron supplements. Difficulty swallowing that are created due to stricture of the esophagus and the lower part of the throat can stop after taking iron, and otherwise be treated by mechanical dilation - expansion of the esophagus. One passage of dilators, or even endoscopes in diagnostic phase is usually achieved great improvement.


Patients should eat slowly, smaller portions, and it takes a long time chewing food. Solid foods should be chopped into small pieces, especially meat.


Prognosis of Plummer Vinson Syndrome  is good, unless the disease is not complicated with cancer of the esophagus or throat. Patients with PVS usually responds well to treatment with iron, changes in eating habits and mechanical dilation of the esophagus. See also Polycystic ovary syndrome.