Costa TV, Dantas RO.
Background – The perception of bolus transit through the thoracic esophagus may be caused by altered esophageal anatomy and function. Objective – To evaluate the hypothesis that, in healthy volunteers, swallows followed by perception of esophageal bolus transit are associated with changes in esophageal motility.
Methods – Simultaneous evaluation of motility and perception of esophageal bolus transit was performed in 22 healthy volunteers. Esophageal motility was evaluated by high-resolution manometry with a 32-channel solid state catheter. Each volunteer performed, in the sitting position, 10 swallows of a 5 mL bolus of saline and 10 swallows of pieces of 1 cm3 of bread, with an interval of at least 30 seconds between swallows. After each swallow the volunteers were asked about the perception of bolus transit through the esophagus.
Results – Perception of bolus transit occurred in 11.7% of liquid swallows and in 48.1% of solid swallows. In liquid swallows the perception was associated with higher distal contractile integral and shorter proximal contraction length. Perception of solid bolus transit was associated with a longer distal latency, longer proximal contraction length, lower proximal contractile integral and shorter proximal contraction duration.
Conclusion – The perception of swallowed bolus transit through the esophagus in healthy individuals is more frequent with solid than liquid swallows and is associated with changes in proximal esophageal contractions.
HEADINGS – Esophageal motility disorders. Deglutition disorders. Smooth muscle. Dysphagia.