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Lancet. 2001 Sep 8;358(9284):823-8.

Oesophageal motility disorders.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


Oesophageal motility disorders comprise various abnormal manometric patterns which usually present with dysphagia or chest pain. Some, such as achalasia, are diseases with a well defined pathology, characteristic manometric features, and good response to treatments directed at the pathophysiological abnormalities. Other disorders, such as diffuse oesophageal spasm and hypercontracting oesophagus, have no well defined pathology and could represent a range of motility changes associated with subtle neuropathic changes, gastro-oesophageal reflux, and anxiety states. Although manometric patterns have been defined for these disorders, the relation with symptoms is poorly defined and the response to medical or surgical therapy unpredictable. Hypocontracting oesophagus is generally caused by weak musculature commonly associated with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Secondary oesophageal motility disorders can be caused by collagen vascular diseases, diabetes, Chagas' disease, amyloidosis, alcoholism, myxo-oedema, multiple sclerosis, idiopathic pseudo-obstruction, or the ageing process.

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