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Am J Gastroenterol. 1994 May;89(5):722-5.

Manometric determination of esophageal length.

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Department of Medicine, Graduate Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.



Two hundred and fifty-two esophageal manometric studies were reviewed retrospectively to determine the length of esophagus and its relationship to disease, sex, height, and weight.


For all studies, solid state intraluminal transducers were used, with patients in the supine position. Esophageal length was defined as the difference between the high pressure zone of the upper esophageal sphincter and proximal margin of the lower esophageal sphincter. The mean length of the esophagus was 22.9 +/- 0.2 cm (+/- SEM) in all patients and volunteers (excluding those with achalasia).


The 40 patients with achalasia had a significantly (p < 0.05) longer mean esophageal length (24.5 +/- 0.5 cm) than normal volunteers or other patient groups with scleroderma, GERD, chest pain, and dysphagia. Excluding patients with achalasia, 96 males had a significantly (p < 0.05) longer mean esophageal length (23.6 +/- 0.3 cm) than 116 females (22.4 +/- 0.3 cm). A normal distribution of esophageal length was demonstrated in all subjects (excluding those with achalasia). Esophageal length showed poor correlation with either height (r2 = 0.15) or body weight (r2 = 0.003).


esophageal length showed considerable intersubject variation. Patients with achalasia had a longer esophagus consistent with esophageal dilation. Males had a longer esophagus than females. Esophageal length did not correlate with either height or weight.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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