JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Analysis of thirty-two patients with Schatzki's ring.

Schatzki's ring is a distinct anatomical entity associated with hiatal hernia; however, its significance is unclear. Thirty-two patients with a radiologically demonstrated Schatzki's ring were compared with 32 patients with hiatal hernia and no Schatzki's ring. Schatzki's ring was confirmed on endoscopy in 59 percent of patients. Seventy-five percent of patients with Schatzki's ring presented with dysphagia compared with 41 percent of control patients (p less than 0.01). Heartburn and regurgitation were less frequent than in control subjects (38 percent versus 91 percent, p less than 0.0001). Schatzki's ring patients were found to have a lower incidence of proven gastroesophageal reflux on 24-hour pH monitoring. Those with proven reflux were found to have a more efficient lower esophageal sphincter than control patients. Sixty-two percent of Schatzki's ring patients without proven reflux had a history of chronic ingestion of drugs known to be damaging to the esophageal mucosa, whereas only 26 percent of patients with reflux had this history. This was found in 16 percent of controls. Sixty-two percent of Schatzki's ring patients without reflux responded to a single dilatation compared with 37 percent of those with reflux. These findings suggest an etiologic relationship between pill lodgement and Schatzki's ring in patients without reflux and indicate that different therapy should be employed in these patients.

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