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Scand J Gastroenterol. 1995 Sep;30(9):833-8.

Esophageal motility disorders and their coexistence with pathologic acid reflux in patients with noncardiac chest pain.

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  • 1Dept. of Medicine, St. Josef-Hospital, Ruhr-University, Bochum, Germany.



The aim of this study was to determine which motility data of patients with noncardiac chest pain (NCCP) differ from those of controls on the basis of long-term manometry and to evaluate the coexistence of motility disorders and pathologic acid reflux. Further, motility disorders were tested as to whether they were secondary to acid reflux.


Combined long-term pH/manometry was performed in 95 patients with NCCP, using one pH-electrode and two pressure transducers. The motility data were compared with those of healthy controls (n = 40). In addition, an intraindividual patient-oriented motility analysis was performed. Evaluated were the amplitude, the duration in the distal and proximal esophagus, and the type of propagation, propulsive and simultaneous, of esophageal contractions. Ten patients with pathologic acid reflux and hypermotility disorders received 20 mg omeprazole twice daily and were investigated again 4 weeks after therapy began.


The median distal pressure amplitude (39.4 versus 28.9 mmHg, p < 0.0001) and the median percentage of simultaneous contractions (18.5% versus 10%; p < 0.0001) were significantly higher in patients with NCCP than in controls. In addition, patients whose symptoms correlated with abnormal motility (n = 18) had a significantly higher median duration of contractions (3.8 sec versus 3.2 sec; p < 0.03) than controls Patients with pathologic acid reflux showed a higher median distal pressure amplitude (38.3 mmHg versus 28.9 mmHg; p < 0.0001) and median percentage of simultaneous contractions (18% versus 10%; p < 0.0001) than controls. Furthermore, a high rate of coexistence with hypermotility disorders was observed (64%). These disorders persisted after acid suppression therapy.


Patients with NCCP differ from controls in their esophageal motility. Simultaneous contractions of increased amplitude and duration are pathologic. The intraindividual patient-oriented motility analysis is an appropriate evaluation method. Hypermotility disorders occur often in patients with pathologic acid reflux, but apparently they are not dependent on it.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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