Quantifying EGJ morphology and relaxation with high-resolution manometry: a study of 75 asymptomatic volunteers

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2006 May;290(5):G1033-40. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00444.2005. Epub 2006 Feb 2.


Our aim was to define normal esophagogastric junction (EGJ) morphology and relaxation characteristics using high-resolution manometry (HRM). To this end, 75 asymptomatic controls underwent HRM with a solid-state manometric assembly incorporating 36 circumferential sensors spaced at 1-cm intervals positioned to record from the hypopharynx to the stomach. Ten 5-ml water swallows were obtained. EGJ relaxation was quantified by 1) nadir pressure, 2) the lowest 3-s mean residual pressure after swallow (E-sleeve), and 3) the transsphincteric gradient 2-6 s after swallowing measured from 2 cm above to 2 cm below the EGJ. A new parameter, integrated relaxation resistance (IRR), was also calculated. The IRR calculation accounted for both the duration of EGJ relaxation and instantaneous E-sleeve-type relaxation pressures during the entire interval of relaxation. The means and ranges (5-95th percentile) for nadir lower esophageal sphincter relaxation pressure (mean: 3.9 mmHg, range: 0-10.1 mmHg) and E-sleeve relaxation pressure (mean: 8.1 mmHg, range: 4.1-15.1 mmHg) were consistent with previously reported values. The mean relaxation interval was 7.95 +/- 0.2 s (mean +/- SE), whereas the median relaxation pressure during that interval was 10.7 +/- 0.5 mmHg (mean +/- SE). Mean IRR was 1.3 mmHg/s (95th percentile: 3.0 mmHg/s). Mean EGJ length was 3.7 cm. In conclusion, HRM provides a seamless dynamic representation of pressure within and across the EGJ. In addition to providing conventional EGJ relaxation parameters, this technology also creates opportunities to quantify more precise measures of EGJ relaxation and morphology.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Deglutition / physiology
  • Esophagogastric Junction / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manometry / instrumentation*
  • Manometry / methods
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle Relaxation*
  • Pressure