Impaired Esophageal Emptying in Reflux Disease

Shezhang Lin*, Meiyun Ke, Jingying Xu, Peter J. Kahrilas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Objectives: The symptoms and mncosal damage that occur in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may he a consequence of either an increased frequency of reflux events or of a prolonged process of esophageal acid clearance. Acid clearance is dependent both upon effective esophageal emptying of luminal fluid and on normal salivary function to titrate residual acid to neutrality. This investigation examined the efficacy of esophageal emptying in a large group of GERD patients. Methods: Barium swallow examinations were done to categorize and quantify esophageal emptying dysfunction in 67 consecutive patients with reflux disease, compared with 85 patient asymptomatic controls. Quantitative fluoroscopic estimates of esophageal residua were compared with scintigraphic quantiflcation in 14 controls and 20 GERD patients. Results: There was progressive impairment of esophageal emptying in the reflux patients without esophagitis compared with the controls, and it was even greater in patients with endoscopically evident esophagitis compared with reflux patients without esophagitis. Good correlation existed hetween the fluoroscopic and scintigraphic assessment of esophageal emptying. Conclusions: These flndings support the hypothesis that impaired esophageal emptying is an important determinant in the development of esophagitis among reflux patients. The dominant site of impaired emptying in the reflux patients was the phrenic ampulla as opposed to the tuhular esophagus, suggesting a pathophysiological contribution of hiatus hernia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1003-1006
Number of pages4
JournalThe American journal of gastroenterology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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