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Dig Dis Sci. 1992 Jun;37(6):833-41.

Prolonged clearance is the primary abnormal reflux parameter in patients with progressive systemic sclerosis and esophagitis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC 20307-5001.


The purpose of this study is to determine if frequent reflux events from an incompetent LES or poor clearance from decreased peristalsis is the predominant abnormality in PSS patients with severe reflux esophagitis. Seven patients with both classic manometric findings of PSS and endoscopic findings of esophageal ulcerations and/or Barrett's esophagus were compared to nine patients with similar endoscopic findings but with no evidence of a connective tissue disorder. All patients underwent simultaneous intraesophageal pH monitoring and scintigraphy for a total of 40 min after a radiolabeled meal. Four of the PSS patients and all the non-PSS patients had simultaneous manometry. We found that PSS patients had significantly fewer reflux events (P less than 0.01), but the reflux events had significantly longer duration (P less than 0.01) compared to patients with similar severity of esophagitis and no connective tissue disease. We conclude that decreased smooth muscle peristalsis appears to be the primary contributor to acid exposure and esophageal injury in PSS.

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