Management of Spastic Disorders of the Esophagus

Sabine Roman, Peter J. Kahrilas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


The concept of esophageal spastic disorders encompasses spastic achalasia, distal esophageal spasm, and jackhammer esophagus. These are conceptually distinct in that spastic achalasia and distal esophageal spasm are characterized by a loss of neural inhibition, whereas jackhammer esophagus is associated with hypercontractility. Hypercontractility may also occur as a result of esophagogastric junction outflow obstruction or inflammation. The diagnosis of jackhammer esophagus as a primary motility disorder is based on the characteristic manometric findings after ruling out mechanical obstruction and eosinophilic esophagitis. Despite the differences in pathophysiology among the esophageal spastic disorders, their management is similar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-43
Number of pages17
JournalGastroenterology Clinics of North America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Achalasia
  • Distal esophageal spasm
  • Esophageal motility
  • High-resolution manometry
  • Jackhammer esophagus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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