Esophageal provocation tests: Are they useful to improve diagnostic yield of high resolution manometry?

D. A. Carlson*, S. Roman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


High resolution manometry (HRM) is the gold standard to diagnose esophageal motility disorders but has some limitations. The inclusion of provocative tests might enhance the diagnostic yield of HRM. These tests are easy to perform and to add to the regular manometry protocol. Multiple rapid swallows (MRS; 5 2-mL swallows) is useful to assess the contractile reserve and deglutitive inhibition. The optimal number of MRS to perform might be 3 as suggested by Mauro et al. in this issue of Neurogastroenterology & Motility. The absence of contractile reserve might be associated with gastro-esophageal reflux disease and with an increased risk of post fundoplication dysphagia. Single viscous and solid swallows might enhance the detection of esophageal motility disorders but are not significantly associated with symptom occurrence. Test meal has the advantage to represent a real-life scenario and is promising to depict significant motility findings responsible for esophageal symptoms. Post-prandial recording might also be of interest to diagnose rumination and belching disorders. The best indication of rapid drink challenge test (free drinking of 200 mL) is currently the diagnosis of esophago-gastric junction obstruction. Finally, abdominal compression might be an option to evaluate response of esophageal peristalsis in a context of outflow resistance as proposed by Brink et al. in this issue. These provocative maneuvers appear to provide a complementary role in the evaluation of esophageal motility but require prospective studies to determine the validity of the findings and whether they will lead to changes in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13321
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • esophageal motility disorders
  • multiple swallows
  • rapid drink challenge
  • test meal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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