JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
REVIEW
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Management of spastic disorders of the esophagus.

The concept of esophageal spastic disorders encompasses spastic achalasia, distal esophageal spasm, and jackhammer esophagus. These are conceptually distinct in that spastic achalasia and distal esophageal spasm are characterized by a loss of neural inhibition, whereas jackhammer esophagus is associated with hypercontractility. Hypercontractility may also occur as a result of esophagogastric junction outflow obstruction or inflammation. The diagnosis of jackhammer esophagus as a primary motility disorder is based on the characteristic manometric findings after ruling out mechanical obstruction and eosinophilic esophagitis. Despite the differences in pathophysiology among the esophageal spastic disorders, their management is similar.

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