Jackhammer esophagus: Assessing the balance between prepeak and postpeak contractile integral

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: We hypothesized that symptoms in Jackhammer esophagus (JH) are associated with an imbalance between the prepeak and postpeak phases of contraction. Thus, we developed a method to distinguish the contractile integral components of prepeak and postpeak phase contractile activity to determine the contribution of each phase and their association with dysphagia. Methods: Patients diagnosed with JH were enrolled and compared to controls. The first five intact swallows during manometry were analyzed. A single swallow was divided into a prepeak and postpeak phase. The contractile integral of each phase and its corresponding time-controlled integral were computed. All metrics were compared between controls and JH patients subcategorized by the impaction dysphagia question (IDQ) score with cut-off of 6. Key Results: Thirty eight JH patients and 71 controls were included. Twelve JH patients had IDQ ≤ 6 and 26 with IDQ > 6. JH patients had higher contractile integral in both phases, and a higher ratio between postpeak to prepeak contractile integral independent of duration. Similarly, JH patients with an IDQ > 6 had higher contractile metrics than those with IDQ ≤ 6. There was a correlation between the IDQ score and the ratio within the postpeak to prepeak contractile integral (r =.375). Conclusions: Abnormalities in contractile integral of the postpeak phase are more significant in JH with higher dysphagia scores Although the total postpeak contractile integral was higher in symptomatic patients, this was associated with longer duration of postpeak activity suggesting that dysphagia patients with JH have a defect in the postpeak phase of peristalsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13262
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018


  • Jackhammer esophagus
  • contractile integral
  • swallow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology

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