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Rheumatol Int. 1987;7(1):23-7.

Esophageal manometric findings in autoimmune rheumatic diseases: is scleroderma esophagus a specific entity?


In order to assess whether distal esophageal hypomotility in scleroderma is unique to this disease or not, we studied 25 normal volunteers and 109 patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (27 with primary Sjögren's syndrome, 25 with idiopathic Raynaud's phenomenon, 25 with rheumatoid arthritis, 19 with scleroderma, 5 with undifferentiated connective tissue disease, 3 with systemic lupus erythematosus, 2 with mixed connective tissue disease, 2 with sclerodermatomyositis, and one with morphea). Esophageal dysfunction typical of scleroderma was present in 17 patients (15.6%), of whom 13 had scleroderma (68%) and one each primary Sjögren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, undifferentiated connective tissue disease, and mixed connective tissue disease. Twenty-two percent of all patients had nonspecific esophageal motility changes, clustered among primary Sjögren's syndrome, idiopathic Raynaud's phenomenon, and rheumatoid arthritis. We conclude that lower esophageal hypomotility, although most frequent in scleroderma, is not unique to this disease and can be encountered in several other auto-immune rheumatic diseases.

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