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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access April 9, 2010

Rapunzel syndrome — a case report

  • Miroslava Stojanovic EMAIL logo , Andjelka Slavkovic , Zoran Marjanovic , Miroslav Stojanovic and Dragoljub Zivanovic
From the journal Open Medicine


Bezoars are collections of indigestible materials found in the gastrointestinal tract. Rapunzel syndrome is a rare complication of a gastric trichobezoar in which the mass of hair extends through the pylorus into the small bowel and can even reach the colon. A 12-year-old girl with severe pain and a feeling of “fullness” in the upper abdomen was admitted to Pediatric Surgery. Two days before admission, the patient presented with vague abdominal pain, vomiting with a little blood, and black stool. On physical examination she was pale and listless with patchy alopecia. Abdominal examination showed a mobile, palpable mass in the epigastrium. The initial hematocrit was 7,1%, and the erythrocyte count was 1,12×1012 cells per liter. Abdominal ultrasound and computed tomographic (CT) examinations confirmed the presence of a tumor-like formation in stomach. A giant bezoar with ulceration on the back wall of the stomach was verified by upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Endoscopic extraction was not possible because of the size of the bezoar. Gastrotomy was performed to remove the bezoar that occupied most of the stomach, with a long tail that extended deeply into the duodenum (Rapunzel syndrome). The bezoar, 35 by 10 cm in diameter, was black and consisted of hair and synthetic fibers. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of trichobezoars are important to avoid a possible fatal outcome.

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Published Online: 2010-4-9
Published in Print: 2010-6-1

© 2010 Versita Warsaw

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.

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