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Esophageal involvement in scleroderma: clinical, endoscopic, and manometric features.

Aim. To evaluate characteristics of esophageal involvement in scleroderma. Methods. The study was prospective and concerned 194 patients with a definite systemic sclerosis. Gastroesophageal endoscopy and esophageal manometry were performed in all the cases. Results. Symptoms were present in 118 cases (60.8%); they were signs of GERD or dysphagia, respectively, in 94 (48.4%) and 91 patients (46.9%). Reflux esophagitis was found in 73 cases (37.6%); it was mild or moderate in 47 cases (24.2%) and severe or complicated in the remaining cases. Manometry revealed a lower esophageal sphincter incompetence and esophageal motor disorders, respectively, in 118 (60.8%) and 157 cases (80.9%). Presence of these late was not related to age, duration, or skin extension of the disease, but with clinical complaint and/or mucosal damage. Conclusion. Esophageal involvement is frequent during scleroderma. Manometry is the most sensible examination and could be a screening procedure.

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