Weak peristalsis in esophageal pressure topography: Classification and association with dysphagia

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations


Objectives:Esophageal manometry is frequently used to assess for weak peristalsis. Although commonly used clinically, there are currently no validated metrics of weak peristalsis in high-resolution esophageal pressure topography (EPT). This study aimed to develop a classification of weak peristalsis in EPT based on a comparative analysis of control subjects and patients with unexplained non-obstructive dysphagia.Methods:High-resolution esophageal pressure topography (high-resolution impedance manometry) studies were carried out in 16 control subjects to verify EPT features associated with incomplete bolus transit (IBT). The technique of superimposing EPT plots in a computer simulation was used to derive normal limits of peristaltic integrity in EPT in another 75 control subjects. The occurrence of critical EPT defects was then compared between control subjects and 113 patients with non-obstructive dysphagia identified from a large clinical series.Results:IBT occurred with failed peristalsis or with breaks in the >20 mm Hg isobaric contour occurring at the proximal or distal pressure troughs in EPT plots. The normal range for isobaric contour breaks was 0-20% for large (>5 cm) and 0-30% for small (2-5 cm) breaks, with both occurring significantly more frequently in dysphagic patients. Failed peristalsis was not more frequent in dysphagic patients.Conclusions:A classification of weak peristalsis adapted to EPT is proposed based on the occurrence of breaks in the 20> mm Hg isobaric contour wherein weak peristalsis with large breaks is defined by those occurring with >20% of swallows and weak peristalsis with small breaks defined by those occurring with >30% of swallows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-356
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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