JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Schatzki's rings do not protect against acid reflux and may decrease esophageal acid clearance.

Schatzki's rings (SR) are a common cause of intermittent solid food dysphagia, but their etiology is unclear. Many believe they are related to acid reflux, hypothesizing that the rings act as a protective barrier against further reflux. The purpose of this study was to determine whether dilation of SR affected the degree of acid reflux. Twenty patients participated in the study. All patients underwent esophageal manometry and 24-hr pH monitoring off all acid inhibitory medications before and two weeks after esophageal dilation. No significant differences were noted in any of the reflux parameters measured before and after dilation. However, there was a trend toward reduction in symptom score in all patients, a decrease in Johnson-DeMeester score, and a decrease in supine reflux time in patients with thick SR after dilation. There was no correlation between ring diameter and the presence or absence of reflux. In conclusion, Schatzki's rings do not prevent esophageal reflux, and they may act to decrease esophageal acid clearance, especially in the supine position, thereby increasing esophageal acid exposure.

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