Ineffective esophageal motility: Concepts, future directions, and conclusions from the Stanford 2018 symposium. Neurogastroenterology and motility : the official journal of the European Gastrointestinal Motility Society Gyawali, C. P., Sifrim, D., Carlson, D. A., Hawn, M., Katzka, D. A., Pandolfino, J. E., Penagini, R., Roman, S., Savarino, E., Tatum, R., Vaezi, M., Clarke, J. O., Triadafilopoulos, G. 2019: e13584


BACKGROUND: Ineffective esophageal motility (IEM) is a heterogenous minor motility disorder diagnosed when =50% ineffective peristaltic sequences (distal contractile integral <450mm Hgcms) coexist with normal lower esophageal sphincter relaxation (integrated relaxation pressure 70% ineffective sequences) is associated with higher esophageal reflux burden, particularly while supine, but milder variants do not progress over time or consistently impact quality of life. Ineffective esophageal motility can be further characterized using provocative maneuvers during HRM, especially multiple rapid swallows, where augmentation of smooth muscle contraction defines contraction reserve. The presence of contraction reserve may predict better prognosis, lesser reflux burden and confidence in a standard fundoplication for surgical management of reflux. Other provocative maneuvers (solid swallows, standardized test meal, rapid drink challenge) are useful to characterize bolus transit in IEM. No effective pharmacotherapy exists, and current managements target symptoms and concurrent reflux. Novel testing modalities (baseline and mucosal impedance, functional lumen imaging probe) show promise in elucidating pathophysiology and stratifying IEM phenotypes. Specific prokinetic agents targeting esophageal smooth muscle need to be developed for precision management.

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