Eosinophilic esophagitis in adults, an emerging cause of dysphagia. Description of 9 cases. (1/35)

BACKGROUND: Eosinophilic esophagitis is a rare condition mainly affecting children, although the number of cases reported in adults is on the increase. It is characterized by intense infiltration of eosinophilic leukocytes in the esophageal mucosa, without involvement of other sections of the alimentary canal. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Over the past year, following the performance of endoscopies and biopsies, our service identified nine patients who were diagnosed with suffering from this disorder. Each patient sought medical help for episodes of long-term, self-limited dysphagia or food impaction in the alimentary canal. RESULTS: Endoscopy revealed esophageal stenosis in the form of simultaneous contraction rings or regular stenosis. In six cases, the manometric study showed a nonspecific motor disorder of severe intensity affecting the esophageal body, and another patient had a disorder characterized by the presence of simultaneous waves and secondary peristaltic waves in the three thirds of the organ. These disorders are presumably due to eosinophilic infiltration of the muscular layer or ganglionar cells of the esophagus, and account for symptoms in these patients. Although the etiopathogenesis of this illness is uncertain, it is clearly an immunoallergic manifestation. CONCLUSIONS: As the number of diagnosed cases is on the increase, eosinophilic esophagitis is in adults a specific entity within the differential diagnosis of dysphagia in young males with a history of allergies. Eosiniphilic esophagitis responds in a different number of ways to therapies used. We successfully used fluticasone propionate, a synthetic corticoid applied topically, which proved to be efficient in the treatment of this illness by acting on the pathophysiological basis of the process. It does not have any adverse effects, thus offering advantages over other therapies such as systematic corticoids or endoscopic dilations.  (+info)

Effect of aging on bolus kinematics during the pharyngeal phase of swallowing. (2/35)

Swallowing difficulty is a common complaint in the elderly and, although there are data for the biomechanics of liquid swallows, little is known about solid bolus motion, or kinematics, in the elderly. The aims of this study were as follows: 1) to characterize and compare solid and liquid bolus kinematics in the elderly and compare the findings with those in young subjects and 2) to correlate bolus kinematics and dynamics. Concurrent manometric-fluoroscopic techniques were used to study eight young and eight elderly subjects. The subjects performed four swallows each of 0.2-cm-diameter solid barium pellets and 5 ml of liquid barium during sagittal fluoroscopy and six-channel pharyngoesophageal manometry. Images were digitized for analysis of kinematic properties such as velocity and acceleration. Dynamic pressures were recorded and coordinated with kinematic events. Image analysis showed that velocity varied as the pellet passed through the hypopharynx, pharynx, and upper esophageal sphincter. In young subjects, pellet kinematics were characterized by two zones of pellet acceleration: one over the tongue base and another as the pellet passed through the upper esophageal sphincter. Although the elderly showed a similar zone of acceleration over the base of the tongue, the second zone of pellet acceleration was not seen. Decreasing pressure gradients immediately distal to the position of the solid pellet and liquid bolus characterized dynamics for all subjects. This decreasing pressure gradient was significantly larger in elderly than in young subjects. Bolus kinematics and dynamics were significantly altered among elderly compared with young subjects. Among these differences were the absence of hypopharyngeal bolus acceleration and a significant increase in the trans-sphincteric pressure gradient in the elderly.  (+info)

Generation of nitric oxide in the opossum lower esophageal sphincter during physiological experimentation. (3/35)

Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), given in vivo, modulates opossum esophageal motor functions by inducing the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), which increases nitric oxide (NO) production. Superoxide, a NO scavenger, is generated during this endotoxemia. Superoxide is cleared by superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) to protect the physiological function of NO. This study examined whether lower esophageal sphincter (LES) motility, NO release, and iNOS and nitrotyrosine accumulation in the LES are affected by LPS in vitro. Muscle strips from the opossum LES were placed in tissue baths containing oxygenated Krebs buffer. NO release was measured with a chemiluminescence NOx analyzer, and Western blots were performed to analyze iNOS and nitrotyrosine production. The percent change in resting LES tone after a 6-hour exposure to LPS was significantly increased compared to pretreatment values. The percent LES relaxation upon electrical stimulation was significantly decreased in the control group at 6 hours, indicating that the LPS treatment had an effect. The NO concentration in the tissue bath of LPS- treated muscle without nerve stimulation was significantly less than that of LPS treatment combined with SOD/CAT or SOD/CAT alone. iNOS and nitrotyrosine were detectable and increased over time in the LES muscle of both the control and LPS-treated groups. Antioxidant enzymes may play a role in regulating NO-mediated neuromuscular functions in the LES.  (+info)

The relationship between somatic growth and in vivo esophageal segmental and sphincteric growth in human neonates. (4/35)

BACKGROUND: Measurement of aerodigestive tract length is an important determinant for accurate placement of esophageal probes and gavage tubes at the desired location. The relationship of esophageal body, upper esophageal sphincter (UES) and lower esophageal sphincter (LES) lengths with somatic growth in neonates is not well understood. OBJECTIVES: Our objectives were to (1) evaluate a relationship between segmental esophageal lengths and somatic growth parameters and (2) ascertain the relationship between segmental esophageal lengths and gestational age (GA) and postmenstrual age (PMA) in preterm and full-term born human neonates. DESIGN/METHODS: One hundred esophageal manometry studies were performed in 75 infants (30-60 weeks PMA) and the high-pressure zones of LES and UES identified. The distance from nares to LES and from nares to UES, esophageal body length, length of UES and LES derived from the manometry studies were correlated with somatic growth parameters. Growth rate of different esophageal segments was also determined in 26 subjects that underwent longitudinal studies. Analysis of variance and linear regression analysis were performed. RESULTS: Seventy-five neonates of 23.0-40.6 weeks gestational age (0.6-4.4 kg) were studied at 29.1-58.6 weeks PMA (1.0-6.4 kg). Significant correlation (P < 0.001) of PMA and physical growth parameters with the growth of nares-LES (R = 0.8), esophageal body length (R = 0.6) and nares-UES (R = 0.4) were noted. Nares-to-LES length increased at a rate of 0.25 cm/wk PMA during 33.0-36.0 weeks of age. CONCLUSIONS: In vivo esophageal segmental lengths correlated strongly with somatic growth parameters and PMA in neonates. We speculate that this approach has many practical applications with the use of esophageal probes and catheters.  (+info)

Anatomy of reflux: a growing health problem affecting structures of the head and neck. (5/35)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) are sibling diseases that are a modern-day plague. Millions of Americans suffer from their sequelae, ranging from subtle annoyances to life-threatening illnesses such as asthma, sleep apnea, and cancer. Indeed, the recognized prevalence of GERD alone has increased threefold throughout the 1990s. Knowledge of the precise etiologies for GERD and LPR is becoming essential for proper treatment. This review focuses on the anatomical, physiological, neurobiological, and cellular aspects of these diseases. By definition, gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is the passage of gastric contents into the esophagus; when excessive and damaging to the esophageal mucosa, GERD results. Reflux that advances to the laryngopharynx and, subsequently, to other regions of the head and neck such as the larynx, oral cavity, nasopharynx, nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, and even middle ear results in LPR. While GERD has long been identified as a source of esophageal disease, LPR has only recently been implicated in causing head and neck problems. Recent research has identified four anatomical/physiological "barriers" that serve as guardians to prevent the cranial incursion of reflux: the gastroesophageal junction, esophageal motor function and acid clearance, the upper esophageal sphincter, and pharyngeal and laryngeal mucosal resistance. Sequential failure of all four barriers is necessary to produce LPR. While it has become apparent that GER must precede both GERD and LPR, the head and neck distribution of the latter clearly separates these diseases as distinct entities warranting specialized focus and treatment.  (+info)

Pharyngeal swallowing: defining pharyngeal and upper esophageal sphincter relationships in human neonates. (6/35)

OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that the sensorimotor characteristics of the reflexes evoked on stimulation with air and water infusions differ by studying the effect of pharyngeal stimulation on pharyngeal-upper esophageal sphincter (UES) interactions in healthy neonates. STUDY DESIGN: Pharyngo-UES-esophageal manometry was recorded in 10 neonates at 39 +/- 4 weeks postmenstrual age. Pharyngeal infusions (n = 155) of air (0.1 to 2.0 mL) and sterile water (0.1 to 0.5 mL) were given. Two types of reflexes were recognized: pharyngeal reflexive swallowing (PRS) and pharyngo-UES-contractile reflex (PUCR). Frequency occurrence, distribution of reflexes, threshold volume, response time, and stimulus-response relationship were evaluated. RESULTS: The reflex response rates were 30% for air and 76% for water (P < .001). PRS was more frequent than PUCR with air and water (P < .05), even though the stimulation thresholds and response latencies were similar. Graded volumes of water but not air resulted in an increased frequency of PRS (P < .01). CONCLUSIONS: PRS is more frequent than PUCR, and the 2 reflexes have distinctive characteristics in air and water stimuli. Both PRS and PUCR have implications for the evaluation of swallowing in infants.  (+info)

Manometric evidence for a phonation-induced UES contractile reflex. (7/35)


Differential relaxation and contractile responses of the human upper esophageal sphincter mediated by interplay of mucosal and deep mechanoreceptor activation. (8/35)