Assessing the pre- and postpeak phases in a swallow using esophageal pressure topography

Y. Xiao*, D. A. Carlson, Z. Lin, N. Rinella, D. Sifrim, J. E. Pandolfino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: The current paradigm of measuring esophageal contractile vigor assesses the entirety of a pressure wave using a single measurement, the distal contractile integral (DCI). We hypothesize that an assessment identifying separate phases of the contractile pressure wave before and after the pressure peak may help distinguish abnormalities in patients presenting with chest pain and dysphagia. The aim of the present study was to develop a technique to assess the individual phases and report on the values in healthy controls. Methods: Seventy-one healthy controls were enrolled. High-resolution manometry studies of five intact liquid swallows in both supine and upright positions were analyzed using a customized MATLAB program to divide swallows into a prepeak phase and postpeak phase, and compute the contractile integral of both phases. The contractile integrals were also controlled by duration over each phase. Key Results: The composite DCI measurement in healthy controls appears to be weighted toward slightly higher contractile activity during postpeak phase based on postpeak to prepeak ratios in both the supine and upright position (1.50 and 1.49, respectively). The contribution of postpeak phase on the composite DCI was weakened when controlled by time (0.92 and 0.96 in both supine and upright position, respectively). Conclusions and Inferences: We developed a novel measurement focused on separating the prepeak and postpeak components of the peristaltic contractile activity during swallowing. Using this technique, it appears that overall contractile activity is higher during postpeak phase and this is related to the longer time component during this phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13099
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • esophagus
  • high-resolution manometry
  • physiology
  • swallow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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