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Am J Gastroenterol. 2000 Oct;95(10):2720-30.

Application of topographical methods to clinical esophageal manometry.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Washington University School of Medicine, and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.



Topographical manometric methods have improved the understanding of esophageal peristalsis in research applications but require a large number of recording sensors. Commonly used methods limited to four sensors were compared to topographical methods to determine whether the latter also had significant clinical utility.


Two hundred twelve patients referred for esophageal manometry were studied with a data acquisition system having 21 intraluminal recording sites, and the findings were analyzed independently using both limited (pull-through plus four recording sites) and topographical approaches (all sites). Discrepant results were clarified using supportive clinical data.


The two methods were in diagnostic agreement in 187 cases (88.2%). Topographical methods correctly identified all 26 patients with achalasia within the group with aperistalsis (n = 36). The limited methods could not confidently identify six achalasia patients and were significantly less effective in segregating aperistaltic disorders (p < 0.05 across methods). Topographical methods alone detected evidence of incomplete lower esophageal sphincter relaxation in 12 additional patients, eight of whom had clinical data supporting the findings. Topographical methods identified the upper margin of the lower sphincter in all but three subjects (1.4%); limited methods could not identify this location in these and five additional subjects (3.8%) and differed from the topographical measurement by > or = 2 cm in 11.9% of cases.


Topographical methods are more accurate than commonly used methods in diagnosing the type of severe motor dysfunction and provide additional information important in the clinical practice of esophageal manometry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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