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Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2012 Aug;24(8):e364-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.2012.01949.x. Epub 2012 Jun 4.

Relationship between esophageal contraction patterns and clearance of swallowed liquid and solid boluses in healthy controls and patients with dysphagia.

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Gastrointestinal Research Unit, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands.



Non-obstructive dysphagia patients prove to be a difficult category for clinical management. Esophageal high-resolution manometry (HRM) is a novel method, used to analyze dysphagia. However, it is not yet clear how findings on HRM relate to bolus transport through the esophagus.


Twenty healthy volunteers and 20 patients with dysphagia underwent HRM and videofluoroscopy in a supine position. Each subject swallowed five liquid and five solid barium boluses. Esophageal contraction parameters and bolus transport were evaluated with HRM and concurrent videofluoroscopy.


Stasis of liquid and solid barium boluses occurred in patients and in healthy volunteers in 64% and 41% and in 84% and 82% of the swallows, respectively. Overall, 70% of the liquid and 72% of the solid bolus swallows were followed by a peristaltic contraction, the difference not being statistically significant. Statistically significant associations were found for transition zone length of liquid and solid boluses, and for DCI and distal contraction amplitudes for liquid stasis. No correlation was found between the degree of stasis and other manometric parameters.


Stasis of both liquid and solid boluses occurs frequently in patients and in controls and can be regarded as physiological. Motility patterns can predict the effectiveness of bolus transit and level of stasis to some degree but the relationship between esophageal motility and transit is complex and far from perfect. Esophageal manometry is therefore currently deemed unfit to be used for the prediction of bolus transit, and should rather be used for the identification of treatable esophageal motility disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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