Esophageal Motility Disorders: Current Approach to Diagnostics and Therapeutics

Gastroenterology. 2022 May;162(6):1617-1634. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2021.12.289. Epub 2022 Feb 25.


Dysphagia is a common symptom with significant impact on quality of life. Our diagnostic armamentarium was primarily limited to endoscopy and barium esophagram until the advent of manometric techniques in the 1970s, which provided the first reliable tool for assessment of esophageal motor function. Since that time, significant advances have been made over the last 3 decades in our understanding of various esophageal motility disorders due to improvement in diagnostics with high-resolution esophageal manometry. High-resolution esophageal manometry has improved the sensitivity for detecting achalasia and has also enhanced our understanding of spastic and hypomotility disorders of the esophageal body. In this review, we discuss the current approach to diagnosis and therapeutics of various esophageal motility disorders.

Keywords: Absent Contractility; Achalasia; Barium Esophagram; Distal Esophageal Spasm; Esophageal Motility Disorders; Esophagogastric Junction; FLIP; High-Resolution Manometry; Hypercontractile Esophagus; Ineffective Esophageal Motility.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Esophageal Achalasia* / diagnosis
  • Esophageal Achalasia* / therapy
  • Esophageal Motility Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Esophageal Motility Disorders* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Manometry / methods
  • Quality of Life