Estimation of mechanical work done to open the esophagogastric junction using functional lumen imaging probe panometry

Shashank Acharya, Sourav Halder, Dustin A. Carlson, Wenjun Kou, Peter J. Kahrilas, John E. Pandolfino, Neelesh A. Patankar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In this study, we quantify the work done by the esophagus to open the esophagogastric junction (EGJ) and create a passage for bolus flow into the stomach. Work done on the EGJ was computed using functional lumen imaging probe (FLIP) panometry. Eighty-five individuals underwent FLIP panometry with a 16-cm catheter during sedated endoscopy including asymptomatic controls (n = 14), 45 patients with achalasia (n = 15 each, three subtypes), those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD; n = 13), those with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE; n = 8), and those with systemic sclerosis (SSc; n = 5). Luminal cross-sectional area (CSA) and pressure were measured by the FLIP catheter positioned across the EGJ. Work done on the EGJ (EGJW) was computed (millijoules, mJ) at 40-mL distension. Additionally, a separate method was developed to estimate the “work required” to fully open the EGJ (EGJROW) when it did not open during the procedure. EGJW for controls had a median [interquartile range (IQR)] value of 75 (56–141) mJ. All achalasia subtypes showed low EGJW compared with controls (P < 0.001). Subjects with GERD and EoE had EGJW 54.1 (6.9–96.3) and 65.9 (10.8–102.3) mJ, similar to controls (P < 0.08 and P < 0.4, respectively). The scleroderma group showed low values of EGJW, 12 mJ (P < 0.001). For patients with achalasia, EGJROW was the greatest and had a value of 210.4 (115.2–375.4) mJ. Disease groups with minimal or absent EGJ opening showed low values of EGJW. For patients with achalasia, EGJROW significantly exceeded EGJW values of all other groups, highlighting its unique pathophysiology. Balancing the relationship between EGJW and EGJROW is potentially useful for calibrating achalasia treatments and evaluating treatment response. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Changes in pressure and diameter occur at the EGJ during esophageal emptying. Similar changes can be observed during FLIP panometry. Data from healthy and diseased individuals were used to estimate the mechanical work done on the EGJ during distension-induced relaxation or, in instances of failed opening, work required to open the EGJ. Quantifying these parameters is potentially valuable to calibrate treatments and gauge treatment efficacy for subjects with disorders of EGJ function, especially achalasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G780-G790
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Distension-induced EGJ relaxation
  • Energy
  • LES and EGJ opening
  • Mechanical work
  • Pressure-volume work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology
  • Hepatology


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