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Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2001 Aug;13(4):361-4.

Manometric abnormalities of the oesophagus in patients with Parkinson's disease.

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Department of Medicine, Graduate Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Dysphagia in Parkinson's disease (PD) is known to correlate with abnormalities of oropharyngeal function. Oesophageal abnormalities have not been previously demonstrated to correlate with dysphagia. The aim of the study was to determine if motor dysfunction of the oesophageal body correlates with dysphagia or disease severity in PD. Twenty-two patients with PD were assessed for the severity of their dysphagia (scale of 1-7) and severity of PD (Hoehn and Yahr scale 1-4). All underwent oesophageal manometry. Dysphagia was present daily in 10 patients (45%). Parkinson's disease was graded as severe (Hoehn and Yahr > or =3) in eight (36%) patients. Oesophageal manometry was abnormal in 16 (73%) patients. Thirteen patients had either complete aperistalsis or multiple simultaneous contractions (diffuse oesophageal spasm). These findings were significantly more common in patients with daily dysphagia (90% vs. 33%; P < 0.005), and were not related to duration or severity of PD. We conclude that the presence of aperistalsis or multiple simultaneous contractions in the oesophagus does correlate with dysphagia and is independent of PD severity or duration. This may reflect selective involvement of either the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus or the oesophageal myenteric plexus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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