Absence of a deglutitive inhibition equivalent with secondary peristalsis

John E. Pandolfino*, Guoxiang Shi, Qing Zhang, Peter J. Kahrilas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This study aimed to determine the interactions between closely paired swallow-induced primary peristalsis (PP) and air injection-induced secondary peristalsis (SP). Ten subjects (7 men, 18-42 yr) were studied using a catheter, including two sleeves (upper and lower esophageal sphincters), a midesophageal infusion port, and seven esophageal and two pharyngeal recording sites. Ten iterations of PP and SP were induced by 5-ml water swallows and 20-ml intraesophageal air injections, respectively. Thereafter, the interactions between PP and SP, separated by 1- to 12-s intervals, were studied in all four possible sequences: paired swallows, swallow preceded by air injection, air injection preceded by swallow, and paired air injections. Tracings were analyzed for lower esophageal sphincter relaxation, presence and integrity of peristalsis, and event interaction. Eight subjects with success rates of both ≥90% PP and ≥80% SP were analyzed (PP 97 ± 2%, SP 90 ± 3%). During paired PP interactions and SP followed by PP, the first sequence was inhibited by the second with intervals < 4-6 s. However, no inhibition of the first peristaltic sequence was found in either PP followed by SP trials or SP followed by air injection. In contrast to swallowing or proximal esophageal distention, air injection into the lumen of the midesophagus does not inhibit an ongoing peristaltic event. Being that the elicitation of SP in the smooth muscle esophagus is intramurally mediated, this suggests that deglutitive inhibition is a centrally mediated phenomenon rather than an intrinsic property of peristalsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G671-G676
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number4 51-4
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Primary peristalsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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