The time course and persistence of "concurrent contraction" during normal peristalsis

John E. Pandolfino, Zhiyue Lin, Sabine Roman, Peter J. Kahrilas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Whereas conventional manometry depicts peristalsis as pressure variation over time, high-resolution manometry makes it equally feasible to depict pressure variation along the lumen (spatial pressure variation plots). This study analyzed the characteristics of spatial pressure variation plots during normal peristalsis. High-resolution manometry studies of 72 normal subjects were analyzed with custom MATLAB programs. A coordinate-based strategy was used to normalize both timing of peristalsis and esophageal length. A spatial pressure variation function was devised to localize the proximal (P) and the distal troughs (D) on each subject's composite pressure topography and track the length within the P-D segment contracting concurrently in the course of peristalsis. The timing at which this function peaked was compared with that of the contractile deceleration point (CDP). The length of concurrent contraction during normal peristalsis had an average span of 9.3 cm, encompassing 61% of the distal P-D length of the esophagus. The timing of the CDP position closely matched that of maximal length within the P-D segment contracting concurrently (r = 0.90, P < 0.001). The pressure morphology of the maximal concurrent contraction was that of a smooth curve, and it was extremely rare to see multiple peaks along the vertical axis (seen in 4 of 72 subjects). Concurrent contraction involving ~60% of the P-D span occurred with normal peristalsis. The segment of concurrent contraction progressively increased as peristalsis progressed, peaked at the CDP, and then progressively decreased. How abnormalities of the extent or timing of concurrent contraction relate to clinical syndromes requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G679-G683
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Esophageal pressure topography
  • High-resolution manometry
  • Maximal vertical contractile length

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology
  • Hepatology


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