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Acute esophageal necrosis (black esophagus)


Acute esophageal necrosis (AEN) has been referred to by multiple names including black esophagus, and necrotizing esophagitis [1-3]. It is best described by the following criteria [4]:

Acute presentation with endoscopic findings consisting of a circumferential black esophagus with or without exudates.

Distal esophageal involvement that can extend proximally, but ends sharply at the gastroesophageal border.

Uniform histologic findings affecting the mucosa and submucosa and consisting of diffuse and severe necrosis, without recognizable stratified squamous cells, occasional deranged muscle fibers, hyperemia and scattered thrombosed vessels without specific causative agents.

Occurrence in the absence of caustic or other injurious agents.


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Literature review current through: Nov 2014. | This topic last updated: Jan 20, 2014.
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