Plummer-Vinson syndrome: Iron deficiency anemia, esophageal webs, and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). The iron deficiency is typically chronic and severe. It triggers the growth of web-like membranes in the throat which cause dysphagia. The syndrome is more common in women. Treatment is iron supplementation and, if need be, dilation of the web to permit normal swallowing and the passage of food. Named after American internist Henry S. Plummer (1874-1937) and surgeon Porter P Vinson (1890-1959). Also known as sideropenic dysphagia and, in the UK, as Paterson-Kelly syndrome.