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J Gastroenterol. 2013 Mar;48(3):360-5. doi: 10.1007/s00535-012-0665-1. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

Effect of age and correlation between esophageal visceral chemosensitivity and mechanosensitivity in healthy Japanese subjects.

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Division of Upper Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Hyogo College of Medicine, 1-1 Mukogawa-cho, Nishinomiya, Hyogo, 663-8501, Japan.



The aim of this study was to examine the impact of age on esophageal sensation, and to determine whether esophageal mechanosensitivity and chemosensitivity are correlated in healthy Japanese subjects.


To evaluate chemosensitivity, a catheter was inserted and placed 10 cm above the upper border of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which was determined with an esophageal manometric catheter. After saline had been infused into the esophagus at a rate of 10 mL/min for 2 min, 0.1 N hydrochloric acid, instead of saline-without the subjects' knowledge-was infused for 10 min at the same rate. The acid perfusion sensitivity score (APSS) was assessed. To evaluate mechanosensitivity, a barostat test was performed, with a balloon being placed 10 cm above the upper border of the LES. The initial perception threshold (IPT), pain threshold (PT), and maximal pain were quantified.


The APSS was significantly inversely correlated with age. IPT, PT, and mean maximal pain were significantly correlated with age. Body mass index, drinking, and smoking habits were not correlated with the esophageal perception threshold. The correlation of chemosensitivity and mechanosensitivity was also assessed, and the APSS was inversely correlated with IPT, PT, and maximal pain.


The thresholds of esophageal visceral chemosensitivity and mechanosensitivity in same individuals were significantly correlated and both of these thresholds were inversely correlated with age.

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