Cricopharyngeal muscle hypertrophy associated with florid myositis

Dysphagia. Fall 2001;16(4):244-8. doi: 10.1007/s00455-001-0082-8.


Hypertrophy of the cricopharyngeal muscle is a serious clinical condition that can cause severe dysphagic symptoms, including prolonged deglutition and postdeglutitive aspiration. Although the therapeutical concepts are well established, the pathogenic mechanism of cricopharyngeal hypertrophy remains unclear. We present a patient with a ten-year history of progressive dysphagia. The neurological and MRI findings were normal. However, videocineradiography showed severe hypertrophy of the cricopharyngeal muscle. This condition was first treated by injections of botulinum toxin, which did not alleviate the symptoms. Next, myotomy and muscle biopsy were performed. Histological evaluation disclosed lymphoplasmacellular florid myositis, single-fiber atrophy, and muscle fiber necrosis with phagocytosis. There were no signs of inclusion body myositis or oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy. Our finding of severe cricopharyngeal muscle hypertrophy associated with myositis has been published previously (n = 34). The study presented here shows cricopharyngeal dysphagia associated with various systemic diseases, including motor neuron disease, general granulomatous disease, dermatomyositis, or inclusion body myositis. Isolated changes of the cricopharyngeal muscle were described in 65% of the cases.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy / etiology
  • Myositis / complications*
  • Pharyngeal Muscles / pathology*