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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2005 Jun;288(6):G1339-46. Epub 2005 Jan 6.

Effect of repeated cycles of acute esophagitis and healing on esophageal peristalsis, tone, and length.

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Faculty of Medicine KU Leuven, Lab G-I Physiopathology, O and N Gasthuisberg, 7th floor, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.


Severe esophagitis is associated with motor abnormalities in the esophageal body and lower esophageal sphincter. Reflux disease involves repeated episodes of mucosal inflammation and spontaneous or treatment-induced healing. The aims of this study were 1) to further assess changes induced by acute esophagitis on esophageal peristalsis, tone, and shortening and 2) to assess the effect of repeated sequences of acute esophagitis-healing on these motor parameters. Experiments were performed on adult cats. Esophageal manometry and barostat were performed before, 24 h after, and every 7 days after intraesophageal acid perfusion (0.1 N HCl, 80 min). Esophageal length was measured during manometry, and compliance of the esophageal body was assessed with barostat. The identical protocol was performed 8 and 16 wk after the first acid perfusion. The degree of esophageal mucosal damage was evaluated by endoscopy, histopathology, and myeloperoxidase activity. Acid perfusion induced severe esophagitis. At 24 h, distal peristaltic contractions disappeared, lower esophageal sphincter pressure was reduced by 60%, the esophagus length was 1-2 cm shorter, and esophageal compliance was reduced by 30%. Most parameters recovered in 4 wk. Subsequent repeated acute injuries induced similar endoscopic esophagitis but a different pattern of inflammatory infiltration and fibrosis in the mucosa and muscle layers, resulting in milder motor disturbances. Acute experimental esophagitis provokes severe but reversible hypomotility. Spaced repeated acute injuries provoke milder motor effects, suggesting an adaptive response.

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