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Mallory-Weiss syndrome

Last updated: March 20, 2020


Mallory-Weiss syndrome refers to acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding caused by mucous membrane lacerations at the gastroesophageal junction, although it may extend above or below. Forceful vomiting in the presence of a damaged gastric mucous membrane, often related to alcoholism, is a common cause of Mallory-Weiss syndrome. Patients typically present with a history of epigastric pain and hematemesis. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy is important in both the diagnosis of the condition and its treatment, which involves simultaneous hemostasis.


Think of the double L in MaLLory-Weiss to remember Longitudinal Lacerations.



Epidemiological data refers to the US, unless otherwise specified.


References: [2]

Clinical features




Differential diagnoses

The differential diagnoses listed here are not exhaustive.


General measures

  • If bleedings stops spontaneously conservative treatment is usually sufficient
  • Control of precipitating factors (e.g., omeprazole for GERD)
  • Inpatient monitoring
  • Treat hemodynamic instability if present

Surgical treatment


Acute management checklist


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  2. Guelrud M. Mallory-Weiss syndrome. In: Post TW, ed. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/mallory-weiss-syndrome.Last updated: March 18, 2014. Accessed: January 4, 2017.
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  4. Mallory Weiss Syndrome. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538190/. Updated: November 24, 2019. Accessed: January 6, 2020.
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