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Dis Esophagus. 2008;21(1):51-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2050.2007.00747.x.

Multichannel intraluminal impedance and esophageal manometry data for unrestricted swallowing: establishing normal values.

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Digestive Disease Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina 29425, USA.


Standard esophageal manometric testing evaluates swallowing in the supine position using small boluses, with a recovery period imposed between swallows. Manometric tests of more physiologic unrestricted swallowing have had limited practical application due to highly variable results. The purpose of this study is to apply multichannel intraluminal impedance and manometry (MII-EM) to test esophageal function during unrestricted upright meal consumption, and to assess results in a normal healthy population. Ten healthy volunteers with normal esophageal impedance and manometry by published criteria underwent MII-EM testing using a combined 5-channel catheter. After transnasal placement of the catheter, each subject sat upright and consumed a meal that consisted of two pieces of toasted bread and two ounces of Gatorade. There were no restrictions placed on chewing, swallowing, or eating time. All data assessed by the MII-EM meal test were normally distributed. Impedance results with limited variability included the meal duration, number of swallows, postprandial emptying time and the percent of bolus presence times at 15, 10, and 5 cm above the lower esophageal sphincter. Manometric results with limited variability included the number of peristaltic sequences, mean time between these sequences and their distal esophageal amplitudes. MII-EM can be used to collect data with minimal variability in healthy subjects during unrestricted upright meal consumption. This technique may be used to identify abnormal motility patterns during physiologic swallowing.

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