[Esophageal motility disorders]

Radiologe. 2007 Feb;47(2):123-36. doi: 10.1007/s00117-007-1472-1.
[Article in German]


For the better understanding of esophageal motility, the muscle texture and the distribution of skeletal and smooth muscle fibers in the esophagus are of crucial importance. Esophageal physiology will be shortly mentioned as far as necessary for a comprehensive understanding of peristaltic disturbances. Besides the pure depiction of morphologic criteria, a complete esophageal study has to include an analysis of the motility. New diagnostic tools with reduced radiation for dynamic imaging (digital fluoroscopy, videofluoroscopy) at 4-30 frames/s are available. Radiomanometry is a combination of a functional pressure measurement and a simultaneous dynamic morphologic analysis. Esophageal motility disorders are subdivided by radiologic and manometric criteria into primary, secondary, and nonclassifiable forms. Primary motility disorders of the esophagus are achalasia, diffuse esophageal spasm, nutcracker esophagus, and the hypertonic lower esophageal sphincter. The secondary motility disorders include pseudoachalasia, reflux-associated motility disorders, functionally caused impactions, Boerhaave's syndrome, Chagas'disease, scleroderma, and presbyesophagus. The nonclassificable motility disorders (NEMD) are a very heterogeneous collective.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Esophageal Motility Disorders / classification*
  • Esophageal Motility Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Manometry / methods*