Oesophageal food impaction

Dr Henry Knipe and Radswiki et al.

Oesophageal food impaction (or steakhouse syndrome) refers to a food bolus acutely obstructing the oesophagus.

Clinical presentation

The main symptom is usually of acute dysphagia.

Radiographic features

Plain radiograph

Depending on the composition of the ingested content, the bolus may be visible on plain radiography.


Small amounts of water-soluble isotonic contrast can be administered with fluoroscopic screening to evaluate the location of the bolus.


CT may be necessary if there is concern of perforation.

Treatment and prognosis

Treatments that are less invasive than endoscopy include effervescent crystals, coca-cola, glucagon, and muscle relaxants.

Oesophageal pathology
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Article information

rID: 12968
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Esophageal food impaction
  • Steakhouse syndrome
  • Oesophageal food bolus impaction

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