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Mental Health

Rapunzel syndrome

Rapunzel syndrome is an extremely rare form of trichobezoar in humans resulting from trichotillomania (irresistible urge to pull out hair) & trichophagia (compulsively eating hair).


Clinical features

  • Body of a trichobezoar (hairball) located in the stomach, and its tail (hence the reference to Rapunzel in the syndrome’s name) in small bowel and/or in right colon
  • Small/large bowel obstruction
  • Occurring in psychiatric patients
  • Trichotillomania

Diagnosis

  • Patient’s history (disorders like Trichophagia and Trichotillomania)
  • Endoscopy
  • CT scan (determine the size and the extension of the trichobezoar)

Management

  • Surgery (as GIT unable to digest human hair)
  • Psychiatric evaluation and treatment (due to the association with impulse control disorders, especially trichotillomania)

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