The aetiology and clinical impact of ineffective oesophageal motility (IEM) remain poorly understood, but the condition is thought to worsen supine gastro-oesophageal acid reflux (GERD).In this retrospective cohort analysis of symptomatic patients with abnormal oesophageal acid exposure, we sought to determine any clinical or functional characteristics that would distinguish those with normal peristalsis from those with IEM, defined using the Chicago classification. We hypothesised that the impaired oesophageal clearance in IEM would be contributing to more severe degrees of pathological acid exposure, as well as clinical and endoscopic GERD severity.Consecutive symptomatic patients with GERD underwent clinical, endoscopic and functional evaluation that included high-resolution impedance manometry (HRIM) and ambulatory pH monitoring performed 'off' acid suppressive therapy.Of the 114 patients with abnormal oesophageal acid exposure, 71 had normal oesophageal motility by HRIM and 43 were diagnosed with IEM (38% prevalence). Age, gender and symptom duration were similar between the two groups. Both groups had similar magnitude and frequency of symptoms, making a distinction clinically impossible. Endoscopically, the two groups had similar rates of erosive disease, hiatal hernia and Barrett's oesophagus. Ambulatory pH, proton pump inhibitor (PPI) dosage and PPI response rates were also similar. Nevertheless, patients with IEM had significantly more impairment of oesophageal clearance (mean 56.9±6.4) than those with normal motility (mean 32.4±5.0) (p<0.003).Symptomatic patients with IEM exhibit significant impairment of oesophageal clearance but are otherwise clinically indistinguishable from those with normal oesophageal motility and have a similar prevalence of erosive disease and pathological acid exposure.
View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjgast-2016-000126
View details for PubMedID 28074151
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5174815