'Ghost pepper' burns hole in man's esophagus

'Ghost pepper' burns hole in man's esophagus
(HealthDay)—A San Francisco man who joined an eating contest involving super-hot "ghost peppers" ended up with a hole in his esophagus, doctors report.

The 47-year-old showed up at a after eating ghost peppers, or "bhut jolokia"—one of the hottest peppers known and "more than twice the strength of a habanero pepper," according to a team led by Dr. Ann Arens.

She's with the department of at the University of California, San Francisco.

The man came into the ER "with severe abdominal and chest pain subsequent to violent retching and vomiting after eating ghost peppers," the doctors said in the report published recently in The Journal of Emergency Medicine.

CT scans and chest X-rays revealed air around a part of the esophagus, "suggestive of a spontaneous esophageal perforation," Arens' team said.

"The patient was intubated and taken immediately to the operating room, where he was noted to have a 2.5-centimeter [1-inch] tear" in his esophagus, the doctors added. Fluid and "food debris" was found around the tear.

The end result for the pepper-eating contestant: He required feeding tubes for another 13 days and wasn't discharged from the hospital for 23 days, the doctors said.

Arens' team said that, to their knowledge, this is the first reported case linked to ghost pepper ingestion. But a spontaneous rupture of the , while rare, is very dangerous, "with a high mortality rate," they added.

"The case serves as an important reminder of a potentially life-threatening surgical emergency initially interpreted as discomfort after a large spicy meal," Arens' group said.


Explore further

Fake xanax cut with potent pain med can be a killer

More information: There's more on esophageal health at the American Gastroenterological Association.
Journal information: Journal of Emergency Medicine

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Citation: 'Ghost pepper' burns hole in man's esophagus (2016, October 18) retrieved 20 May 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-10-ghost-pepper-hole-esophagus.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
1 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more