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Dig Dis Sci. 1997 Nov;42(11):2317-26.

Impedance planimetric characterization of esophagus in systemic sclerosis patients with severe involvement of esophagus.

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  • 1Department of Medicine V, Center of Biomechanics and Gastrointestinal Motility, Aarhus C, Denmark.


This study was designed to evaluate the distensibility and secondary peristalsis of the esophagus in patients suffering from systemic sclerosis with severe esophageal involvement. Balloon distension with impedance planimetric measurement of luminal cross-sectional area was done 7 and 15 cm above the lower esophageal sphincter in 13 patients and nine healthy controls. The controls were studied both with and without receiving the anticholinergic drug butylscopolamine. The cross-sectional area--pressure relations were nonlinear with the largest cross-sectional area in patients at both measuring sites when compared to controls (P < 0.001). The anticholinergic drug butylscopolamine increased the cross-sectional area in controls (P < 0.001). The cross-sectional area distensibility, defined as CSA0(-1) delta CSA delta P-1 did not differ between patients and controls. Balloon distensions elicited contractions proximal to the distension site. The amplitude and frequency of contractions at the distal distension site were significantly reduced in the patients when compared to the controls (P < 0.05). In conclusion, the distal esophagus is most severely affected in patients with systemic sclerosis with increased cross-sectional area and impaired peristalsis.

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