In cricopharyngeal incoordination, the cricopharyngeal muscle (the upper esophageal sphincter) is uncoordinated. It can cause a Zenker's diverticulum (see Esophageal and Swallowing Disorders: Esophageal Diverticula). Repeated aspiration of material from the diverticulum can lead to chronic lung disease. The condition can be treated by surgical section of the cricopharyngeal muscle.
Last full review/revision October 2007 by Michael C. DiMarino, MD