Abnormal Esophageal Body Function: Radiographic-Manometric Correlation

Fuller, Laeh; Huprich, James E.
October 1999
American Surgeon;Oct1999, Vol. 65 Issue 10, p911
Academic Journal
Stationary manometry is the gold standard for the evaluation of patients with suspected esophageal motility disorders. Comparison of videoesophagram in the evaluation of esophageal motility disorders with stationary motility has not been objectively studied. Two hundred two patients with foregut symptoms underwent stationary motility and videoesophagram. Radiographic assessment of esophageal motility was done by video recording of five 10-cc swallows of barium. Abnormal esophageal body function was defined by stasis of barium in the middle third of the esophagus on at least four swallows or stasis on at least three swallows in the distal third. Stationary manometry was performed using a five-channel water perfused system. Contraction amplitudes < 25 mm Hg in any of the last two channels or the presence of simultaneous or interrupted waves in 10 per cent or more were considered to be abnormal. Sixty-two patients had abnormal manometry. Thirty-four patients also demonstrated abnormal videoesophagrams for an overall sensitivity of 55 per cent. The positive predictive value was 53 per cent; specificity was 79 per cent; and negative predictive value was 80 per cent. Sensitivity was greatest in patients with achalasia (94%) and scleroderma (100%) and in patients presenting with dysphagia (89%). Sensitivity was poor for nonspecific esophageal motility disorders. A videoesophagram is relatively insensitive in detecting motility disorders. It seems most useful in the detection of patients with esophageal dysfunction, for which surgical treatment is beneficial, and in those patients presenting with dysphagia.


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