Dynamic imaging of obstructed opossum esophagus. From altered load to altered contractility

Dig Dis Sci. 1994 Jul;39(7):1377-88. doi: 10.1007/BF02088037.


We studied by barium contrast the dynamics of experimental obstruction in the opossum esophagus. Immediately after banding the gastroesophageal junction, entrapment of the bolus between the band and the peristaltic contraction led to esophageal bulging, forceful retropulsion of the bolus at the band, and the repeated triggering of peristaltic contractions by the retropelled bolus. In ensuing weeks, triggering of contractions became more difficult and contractions led to bizarre "corkscrew" movements of the increasingly distended and tortuous esophagus. A tight contraction ring that moved very slowly retrograde was occasionally observed in the chronically distended esophagus. Computer-assisted analysis showed that the area and perimeter of the bolus were abnormally large in chronic obstruction and that during its passage through the esophagus the compactness of the bolus increased no longer. Configurational analysis of the cone that the peristaltic contraction shapes at the tail of the barium column showed this to narrow progressively on passage through the normal esophagus and, paradoxically, to widen in both acute and chronic obstruction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Barium Sulfate
  • Deglutition
  • Esophageal Stenosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Esophageal Stenosis / physiopathology*
  • Esophagus / diagnostic imaging
  • Esophagus / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Opossums
  • Peristalsis


  • Barium Sulfate