We undertook this study to determine the characteristics of swallow-induced lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxation in the setting of clinical manometry using a standardized methodology.
We reviewed 170 manometric recordings performed using a perfused manometric assembly with a sleeve sensor and a computer polygraph. Patients were categorized as patient controls, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), diffuse esophageal spasm (DES), or achalasia. Tracing were semiautomatically analyzed for basal LES pressure, LES pressure during deglutitive relaxation (relaxation LES pressure), duration of LES relaxation, timing of LES relaxation, and the success rate of primary peristalsis.
Forty-six patient controls, 93 with GERD, five with DES, and 26 with achalasia were identified. GERD and achalasia patients had lower or higher basal LES pressures than patient controls, respectively. Compared with patient controls, achalasia patients had higher relaxation LES pressures, lower percent LES relaxation, and shorter durations of LES relaxation. The best single measure for distinguishing achalasia was the relaxation LES pressure; using the 95th percentile value of patient controls (12 mm Hg) as the upper limit of normal, its sensitivity and positive predictive value for the diagnosis of achalasia were 92% and 88%, respectively. Coupled with the finding of aperistalsis, a relaxation LES pressure ≥10 mm Hg achieved 100% sensitivity and positive predictive value among these patients.
Sleeve sensor recording is a practical method for clinical manometry that reliably records LES relaxation characteristics and is amenable to both a standardized manometry protocol and a semiautomated analysis routine. Relaxation LES pressure has a high diagnostic value for achalasia.