High-resolution impedance manometry measurement of bolus flow time in achalasia and its correlation with dysphagia

Z. Lin, D. A. Carlson, K. Dykstra, J. Sternbach, E. Hungness, P. J. Kahrilas, J. D. Ciolino, John E. Pandolfino*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background: We assessed whether a high-resolution impedance manometry (HRIM) metric, bolus flow time (BFT) across the esophagogastric junction (EGJ), was abnormal in achalasia patients subtyped by the Chicago Classification and compared BFT to other HRM metrics. Methods: HRIM studies were performed in 60 achalasia patients (14 type I, 36 type II and 10 type III) and 15 healthy controls. Studies were analyzed with a MATLAB program to calculate BFT using a virtual HRIM sleeve. Integrated relaxation pressure (IRP) and basal end-expiratory EGJ pressure were also calculated. The relationship between BFT and dysphagia symptom scores was assessed using the impaction dysphagia questionnaire (IDQ). Key Results: Median BFT was significantly lower in achalasia patients (0.5 s, range 0.0-3.5 s) compared to controls (3.5 s, range 2.0-5.0 s; p < 0.05). BFT was significantly lower in types I and II than in type III achalasia in both the supine and upright positions (p < 0.0001). BFT was the only HRIM metric significantly associated with IDQ score in both the supine (R2 = 0.20, p = 0.0046) and upright positions (R2 = 0.27, p = 0.0002). Conclusions & Inferences: BFT was significantly reduced in all subtypes of achalasia and complementary to the IRP as a diagnostic discriminant in equivocal achalasia cases. Additionally, BFT had a more robust correlation with dysphagia severity compared to other metrics of EGJ function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1232-1238
Number of pages7
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Achalasia
  • Dysphagia
  • Esophagus
  • Impedance
  • Manometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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