Background: The study was undertaken to determine the validity of intraluminal impedance measuring for the diagnosis of esophageal motility disorders in reflux patients.
Methods: A new impedance device was used for the detection of esophageal motility patterns in a prospective study with 10 volunteers and 10 patients with reflux esophagitis grade II-III. Perfused manometry was correlated with the impedance tracings. Test meals were saline and curd in three different preparations with liquid to semisolid viscosity.
Results: There was a marked delay in esophageal transport with increasing viscosity of the bolus (p < 0.01). A significant (p < 0.001) delay of the bolus transport in the inflamed esophageal areas was seen in reflux patients. A reduced contractility of the lower esophagus and the lower esophageal sphincter was detected by the impedance procedure in reflux patients, indicating that the pathologic motility patterns in reflux esophagitis are most likely secondary to the tissue inflammation.
Conclusion: We conclude that impedance procedures may give additional significant information about bolus transport and esophageal wall movements.