Merck Manual

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Esophageal Motility Disorders

By

Kristle Lee Lynch

, MD, Perelman School of Medicine at The University of Pennsylvania

Last full review/revision Mar 2022| Content last modified Mar 2022
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Primary esophageal causes of dysmotility include

Systemic disorders causing esophageal dysmotility include

Symptoms of esophageal motility disorders depend on the cause but typically include difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), chest pain, and/or heartburn.

Evaluation of esophageal motility disorders depends on the patient's presenting symptoms and may include upper gastrointestinal endoscopy Endoscopy Flexible endoscopes equipped with video cameras can be used to view the upper gastrointestinal tract from pharynx to proximal duodenum and the lower gastrointestinal tract from anus to cecum... read more Endoscopy , barium swallow X-Ray and Other Imaging Contrast Studies of the Gastrointestinal Tract X-ray and other imaging contrast studies visualize the entire gastrointestinal tract from pharynx to rectum and are most useful for detecting mass lesions and structural abnormalities (eg, tumors... read more , esophageal manometry Esophageal manometry Manometry is measurement of pressure within various parts of the gastrointestinal tract. It is done by passing a catheter containing solid-state or liquid-filled pressure transducers through... read more , acid- and reflux-related tests Ambulatory pH Monitoring Ambulatory 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring with or without intraluminal impedance testing is currently the most common test for quantifying gastroesophageal reflux ( 1). The principal indications... read more , and/or impedance planimetry Impedance Planimetry (See also Manometry.) Impedance planimetry provides real-time assessment of luminal distensibility and geometric changes in response to applied pressure in various parts of the gastrointestinal... read more Impedance Planimetry . Impedance planimetry is a newer technology that simultaneously measures the area across the inside of the esophagus and the pressure inside in the lumen. This procedure allows measurements of esophageal distensibility.

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