Why is Esophageal Manometry Done? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 12:02
taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/pburch_tulane/4192405115/Esophageal manometry is used to evaluate the function of the muscles of your esophagus - the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. Circular bands of muscle (sphincters) at the top and bottom of your esophagus open and close to let food pass, while preventing a backwash of stomach acid. Other muscles in the wall of your esophagus help push food toward your stomach.

Esophageal manometry allows your doctor to measure the pressure, strength and pattern of your esophageal muscle contractions when you swallow to determine if your esophagus is working properly.

Your doctor may recommend esophageal manometry if you're experiencing symptoms that could be related to an esophageal disorder. Those symptoms may include:
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Pain when swallowing (odynophagia)
  • Chest pain that's not related to a heart problem

Esophageal manometry may be used to help diagnose the following conditions:
  • Achalasia. This condition occurs when your lower esophageal muscle (sphincter) doesn't relax properly to let food enter your stomach. Muscles in the wall of your esophagus are often weak as well. This can cause regurgitation of food not yet mixed with stomach contents, sometimes causing you to bring food back up into your throat.
  • Diffuse esophageal spasm. This condition produces multiple, forceful, poorly coordinated muscle contractions of your esophagus, usually after you swallow.
  • Nutcracker esophagus. In this condition, food may progress to your stomach normally, but the contractions of your esophageal muscles are painfully strong.
  • Scleroderma. This rare progressive disease can cause hardening and tightening of the connective tissues within your esophagus.

Your doctor may also recommend esophageal manometry if you're considering undergoing anti-reflux surgery to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Esophageal manometry can help determine if you're a good candidate for the procedure and identify the right type of anti-reflux surgery for your situation.

For more information on Esophageal Manometry, do visit the Mayo Clinic's website here. Also, what Is Barrett's Esophagus? Read all about it here.
 
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