Symptoms are inconsistently associated with esophageal motor findings on high-resolution manometry (HRM). We aimed to evaluate predictors of dysphagia severity, including esophageal hypervigilance and visceral anxiety, among patients evaluated with HRM.
Adult patients undergoing HRM at 4 academic medical centers (United States and France) were prospectively evaluated. HRM was completed and analyzed per the Chicago Classification v3.0. Validated symptom scores, including the Brief Esophageal Dysphagia Questionnaire and Esophageal Hypervigilance and Anxiety Scale, were completed at the time of HRM.
Two hundred thirty-six patients, aged 18–85 (mean 53) years, 65% female, were included. Approximately 59 (25%) patients had a major motor disorder on HRM: 19 achalasia, 24 esophagogastric junction outflow obstruction, 12 absent contractility, and 4 jackhammer. Approximately 177 (75%) patients did not have a major motor disorder: 71 ineffective esophageal motility and 106 normal motility. Having a major motor disorder was a significant predictor of dysphagia severity (R2
adj = 0.049, P
< 0.001), but the Esophageal Hypervigilance and Anxiety Scale score carried a predictive relationship of Brief Esophageal Dysphagia Questionnaire that was 2-fold higher than having a major motor disorder: R2
adj = 0.118 (P
< 0.001). This finding remained when evaluated by the major motor disorder group. HRM metrics were nonsignificant.
In a prospective, international multicenter study, we found that esophageal hypervigilance and visceral anxiety were the strongest predictors of dysphagia severity among patients evaluated with HRM. Thus, an assessment of esophageal hypervigilance and visceral anxiety is important to incorporate when evaluating symptom severity in clinical practice and research studies.