Videomanometry of the pharynx in dysphagic patients with a posterior cricopharyngeal indentation

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RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: Patients with a posterior indentation in the pharyngoesophageal segment (PES) are generally considered to have an abnormality of the cricopharyngeal muscle (CPM). In this study we determined the actual width of the PES and the pressure circumstances during swallowing within the pharynx and PES in such patients. METHODS: Simultaneous videofluoroscopy and solid state manometry, radiologic examination of the pharynx, PES, and cervical esophagus were performed in 16 dysphagic patients with a cricopharyngeal (CP) bar. In eight patients the indentation was 25-50%, and in eight it was more than 50% of the adjacent gullet. Sixteen dysphagic patients without a CP bar were used as control subjects. In each patient swallows of 10-ml barium bolus were recorded. RESULTS: Patients with CP bars had a significantly wider PES above (p = .0005) and below (p = .02) the CPM, whereas the diameter at the level of the CPM was smaller only in the patients with more than 50% indentation compared with the patients without a CP bar. The contraction pressure above the CP bar (i.e., at the level of the inferior pharyngeal constrictor) was significantly (p = .002) weaker in patients with a CP bar (131 +/- 16 mm Hg) than in those without a CP bar (222 +/- 20 mm Hg). CONCLUSION: Our findings in patients with a posterior CP bar suggest that the major abnormality is weak constrictors with outpouching of the gullet above and below. Only in patients with more than 50% indentation was there a slight narrowing at the level of the CP bar. The CPM showed no manometric abnormalities in terms of resting pressure, relaxation, and contraction pressure. Therefore, the CPM is likely to relax and distend normally during swallowing in patients with a CP bar.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


  • Pharynx, esophagus, swallowing, manometry, cricopharyngeal muscle, cricopharyngeal bar
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-601§
JournalAcademic Radiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Publication categoryResearch