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Diffuse Esophageal Spasm in Children Referred for Manometry

Rosen, John M.*; Lavenbarg, Teri; Cocjin, Jose; Hyman, Paul E.§

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition: April 2013 - Volume 56 - Issue 4 - p 436–438
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e31827a7883
Original Articles: Gastroenterology

ABSTRACT: Diffuse esophageal spasm (DES) causes chest pain and/or dysphagia in adults. We reviewed charts of 278 subjects 0 to 18 years of age after esophageal manometry to describe the frequency and characteristics of DES in children. Patient diagnoses included normal motility (61%), nonspecific esophageal motility disorder (20%), DES (13%, n = 36), and achalasia (4%). Of patients with DES, the most common chief complaint was food refusal in subjects younger than 5 years (14/24, 58%) and chest pain in subjects older than 5 years (4/12, 33%). Comorbid medical conditions, often multiple, existed in 33 subjects. DES should be considered when young children present with food refusal.

*Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, IL

University of Kansas, Kansas City, KS

Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO

§Louisiana State University and Children's Hospital, New Orleans, LA.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Paul E. Hyman, MD, 200 Henry Clay Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118 (e-mail:

Received 11 April, 2012

Accepted 22 October, 2012

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Copyright 2013 by ESPGHAN and NASPGHAN