JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
REVIEW
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Esophageal motor disorders: recent advances.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this article is to highlight literature published during the last year in the context of previous knowledge.

RECENT FINDINGS: A number of novel techniques - high-resolution manometry, esophageal electrical impedance and intra-luminal ultrasound imaging - have improved our understanding of esophageal function in health and disease. Several studies address the function of longitudinal muscle layer of the esophagus in normal subjects and patients with motor disorders of the esophagus. Esophageal electrical impedance recordings reveal abnormal transit in patients with diffuse esophageal spasm, achalasia and patients with normal manometry. Loss of the mammalian Sprouty2 gene leads to enteric neuronal hyperplasia and esophageal achalasia. Several studies showed excellent long-term results of medical and surgical treatment of achalasia of the esophagus. For the first time, mechanisms of gastroesophageal reflux in critically ill mechanically ventilated patients are reported. Novel pharmacologic strategies in the treatment of reflux disease are highlighted.

SUMMARY: Several novel techniques, perfected during recent years, have improved our understanding of esophageal function and dysfunction. A number of important observations, reviewed here, provide important insight into the pathogenesis of esophageal motor disorders and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease.

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