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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Plummer-Vinson Syndrome and Heart Failure: An Unusual Association in an African American Woman

Challenging differential diagnosis, Unusual or unexpected effect of treatment, Rare disease, Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Zachary Field, Michelle Russin, Jacqueline Kropf, Maxim Olivier, Li Ge, Yehuda Galili, Steve J. Carlan

USA Department of Internal Medicine, Orlando Regional Healthcare, Orlando, FL, USA

Am J Case Rep 2019; 20:1264-1267

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.916823

Available online: 2019-08-27

Published: 2019-08-27


BACKGROUND: Plummer-Vinson syndrome (PVS) is a rare disorder composed of the triad of dysphagia, iron-deficiency anemia (IDA), and esophageal webs. It is most prevalent in middle-aged white women, and the dysphagia often improves when the anemia is treated. It is well established that chronic hypertension can lead to congestive heart failure (CHF). While IDA is frequently found concomitantly with CHF, there have been no reported cases of new-onset CHF with anemia presenting as PVS.
CASE REPORT: We present the case of a 48-year-old African American woman with symptomatic anemia and new-onset congestive heart failure secondary to hypertension, who presented with the classic symptoms of PVS.
CONCLUSIONS: CHF with accompanying IDA may be an independent risk factor for the development of PVS. At the very least, there is an association between CHF-induced IDA and PVS. Patients presenting with CHF with symptoms of dysphagia should be considered at risk for the syndrome, and endoscopy may be warranted. Treatment for PVS includes iron replacement, and in some cases requires mechanical dilation.

Keywords: Anemia, Iron-Deficiency, Heart Failure, Plummer-Vinson Syndrome