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Plummer-Vinson syndrome - Nail and Distal Digit
See also in: Oral Mucosal Lesion
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Plummer-Vinson syndrome - Nail and Distal Digit

See also in: Oral Mucosal Lesion
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Contributors: Bertrand Richert MD, Robert Baran MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Plummer-Vinson syndrome is a rare condition, characterized by iron-deficiency anemia, seen in conjunction with glossitis and dysphagia. Improved nutrition is presumably the reason for the decline in reported cases, although certain "fad" diets could play a role currently. Most reported patients have been women between 30 and 50 years of age and of Scandinavian or northern European descent.

Patients typically complain of a burning sensation of the oral mucosa, resulting in intolerance to dentures. Clinical findings include angular cheilitis and marked atrophy of lingual papillae producing a smooth, red appearance. Systemic features include dysphagia due to esophageal webs or strictures, koilonychia and brittle nails. Fatigue, shortness of breath and weakness are characteristic symptoms of the iron-deficiency anemia.

Risk factors include iron-deficiency anemia in women of northern European descent. The process evolves slowly and is progressive unless treated.

Codes

ICD10CM:
D50.1 – Sideropenic dysphagia

SNOMEDCT:
80126007 – Plummer-Vinson syndrome

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Nail:
Koilonychia

Oral:
Erythematous candidiasis – Candidal glossitis may be caused by broad-spectrum antibiotics ("antibiotic sore mouth") or xerostomia. Culture for Candida albicans is usually positive, but organisms are often sparse on cytologic smears.

Atrophic glossitis secondary to deficiency of folic acid, vitamin B12 (pernicious anemia) – The oral findings are similar to iron-deficiency anemia and Plummer-Vinson syndrome. Hematological testing followed by replacement therapy is curative.

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Last Updated: 05/11/2011
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Plummer-Vinson syndrome - Nail and Distal Digit
See also in: Oral Mucosal Lesion
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View all Images (5)
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Plummer-Vinson syndrome : Atrophic patch tongue, Mouth pain, Dysphagia, Spoon nail, RBC decreased
Clinical image of Plummer-Vinson syndrome
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