Podcast # 348: Steakhouse Syndrome - The Emergency Medical Minute

Author: Don Stader, MD

Educational Pearls:


  • Steakhouse syndrome is an impacted esophageal food bolus.
  • Occurs because they have an esophageal stricture (schatzki ring, scarring, esophagitis).
  • Classic treatments have consisted of effervescents, glucagon, and/or sublingual nitroglycerin (NTG).
  • Recent case series has shown oral 400mcg tablet of NTG dissolved in 10cc tap water was 100% successful.
  • Complications of NTG are hypotension and headache.



Kirchner GI, Zuber-Jerger I, Endlicher E, et al. (2011) Causes of bolus impaction in the esophagus. Surgical Endoscopy. 25:3170.

Willenbring BA, et al. (2018). Oral Nitroglycerin Solution May Be Effective for Esophageal Food Impaction. Journal of Emergency Medicine. 54(5):678-680.

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