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Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2004 Mar;2(3):230-6.

Clarification of the esophageal function defect in patients with manometric ineffective esophageal motility: studies using combined impedance-manometry.

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Division of Gastroeneterology-Hepatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29425, USA.



Combined multichannel intraluminal impedance (MII) and manometry (MII-EM) recently became available as an esophageal function test. Initial studies in healthy volunteers have shown that a proportion of ineffective contractions actually have complete bolus transit. The aim of our study is to evaluate esophageal bolus transit in patients with manometric patterns of ineffective esophageal motility (IEM).


All patients referred for esophageal function testing during a 9-month period underwent combined MII-EM studies, including 10 liquid and 10 viscous swallows. IEM is defined as >or=30% liquid swallows with contraction amplitude <30 mm Hg in the distal esophagus. Diagnosis of esophageal transit abnormalities is defined as abnormal bolus transit if >or=30% of liquid and >or=40% of viscous swallows had incomplete bolus transit.


Seventy patients (35 women; mean age, 54 yr; range, 17-86 yr) with a manometric diagnosis of IEM were identified of a total of 350 combined MII-EM studies. In these patients, 68% of liquid and 59% of viscous swallows showed normal bolus transit, and almost one third of patients received an overall diagnosis of normal bolus transit for both liquid and viscous swallows.


Our experience with combined MII-EM in patients with a manometric diagnosis of IEM confirms the suspicion that "effectiveness" should only be determined by using a test of esophageal function. Furthermore, we believe our results support a conclusion that a higher level of esophageal diagnostic information is best obtained by combined MII-EM. Future outcome studies should establish its value in patients with nonobstructive dysphagia and in prefundoplication assessment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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