Transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations and gastroesophageal reflux episodes in healthy subjects and GERD patients during 24 hours

Dig Dis Sci. 2001 Apr;46(4):815-21. doi: 10.1023/a:1010708602777.


Still little is known about the 24-hr pattern of transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations (TLESRs), particularly in patients with GERD. The aim of our study was to evaluate the 24-hr esophageal and LES motor pattern and esophageal pH and to identify the relationship between TLESRs and gastroesophageal reflux in healthy subjects and in GERD patients. Ten healthy subjects and nine patients with esophagitis (grade I-II) underwent a 24-hr pH manometric recording by means of a portable electronic device. The recording aimed at identifying the temporal relationships between reflux episodes and LES motor events. The GERD patients showed a greater number of either reflux episodes or TLESRs during the 24 hr as compared to controls. While most refluxes occurred during TLESRs in both groups, a small percentage of TLESRs was followed by reflux episodes in healthy people, with only a slight increase in GERD patients. In conclusion, although representing an important motor pattern during gastroesophageal reflux both in healthy subjects and in patients with GERD, TLESR could probably be considered one of the pathophysiologic mechanisms of gastroesophageal reflux more than the primary cause of reflux episodes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Esophagogastric Junction / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Relaxation / physiology*
  • Time Factors