Manometric assessment of esophageal motor function in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis

Eur J Intern Med. 2014 Mar;25(3):230-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2014.01.008. Epub 2014 Feb 16.


Introduction/aim: Primary biliary cirrhosis is associated with other autoimmune diseases including Sjögren's syndrome, and scleroderma. Esophageal dysmotility is well known in scleroderma, and Sjögren's syndrome. The aim of this study is to investigate whether any esophageal motor dysfunction exists in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis.

Method: The study was performed in 37 patients (36 women, mean age: 56.29 ± 10.01 years) who met diagnostic criteria for primary biliary cirrhosis. Thirty-seven functional dyspepsia patients, were also included as a control group. Patients entering the study were asked to complete a symptom questionnaire. Distal esophageal contraction amplitude, and lower esophageal sphincter resting pressure were assessed.

Results: Manometric findings in primary biliary cirrhosis patients vs. controls were as follows: Median lower esophageal sphincter resting pressure (mmHg): (24 vs 20, p=0.033); median esophageal contraction amplitude (mmHg): (71 vs 56, p=0.050); mean lower esophageal sphincter relaxation duration (sc, x ± SD): (6.10 ± 1.18 vs 8.29 ± 1.92, p<0.001); and median lower esophageal sphincter relaxation (%) (96 vs 98, p=0.019); respectively. No significant differences were evident in median peak velocity (sc) (3.20 vs 3.02, p=0.778) between patients with primary biliary cirrhosis and the functional dyspepsia patients. Esophageal dysmotility was found in 17 (45.9%) primary biliary cirrhosis patients (non-specific esophageal motor disorder in ten patients, hypomotility of esophagus in five patients, nutcracker esophagus in one patient and hypertensive lower esophageal sphincter in one patient).

Conclusion: Esophageal dysmotility was detected in 45.9% of patients. The study suggests that subclinic esophageal dysmotility is frequent in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis.

Keywords: Esophageal motility; Primary biliary cirrhosis; Sjögren's syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dyspepsia / etiology
  • Dyspepsia / physiopathology
  • Esophageal Motility Disorders / etiology
  • Esophageal Motility Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / complications
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Manometry
  • Middle Aged