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Relationship Between the Position of the Esophageal Sphincters and Body Height in Healthy Subjects


de Leon, A. Ruiz, M.D.; Cucala, M., M.D. on behalf of the Spanish Digestive Motility Group (GEM.D.)

American Journal of Gastroenterology: September 2005 - Volume 100 - Issue - p S51
Supplement Abstracts Submitted for the 70th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology: ESOPHAGUS

Hospital Clinico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain and Novartis Farmaceutica, Barcelona, Spain.

Purpose: Establishing the position of the esophageal sphincters is of particular interest when performing certain functional studies, especially in those situations in which manometry and endoscopy are not available and a pH-metry study is required. Objectives: To establish whether a relationship exists between body height and the position of the esophageal sphincters as determined by manometry in a group of healthy subjects without gastresophageal reflux symptoms and with a normal pH-metry.

Methods: A multicentre study involving a group of 91 non-obese, healthy subjects (37 men and 54 women) with a mean age of 29 years (range, 18–72 years) and with non-gastrointestinal symptoms, with a low esophageal sphincter pressure >6mmHg and without pathological reflux measured by pH-metry. Esophageal manometry was performed in all subjects using the continuous perfusion and stationary pull-through technique. The distance was measured from the anterior nares to the upper border of the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) and to the lower border of the Upper Esophageal Sphincter (UES). The correlation was studied between individual height and the nares-sphincter distances. An ambulatory pH-metry of long duration (24 h) was performed with the customary technique.

Results: The mean height was 169.5 cm (range 148–193). The lower border of the UES was situated at 19.97 cm (range 12–26). The upper border of the LES was situated at 41.5 cm (range 35–49.5). The results showed a clear relationship between the height and the situation of the two sphincters (p < 0.0001), allowing the following equations to be established:

UES = 1.3663 + (0.1098 × height). LES = 6.1774 + (0.2093 × height)

Conclusions: There is a direct correlation between height and the position of the esophageal sphincters; this may be determined by means of simple equations.

© The American College of Gastroenterology 2005. All Rights Reserved.