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Abdominal compression during endoscopy (the Bolster technique) demonstrates hidden Schatzki rings (with videos).

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Schatzki rings are found in the distal esophagus, are associated with hiatal hernias, and present with intermittent dysphagia to solid foods. They can be identified by radiology (GI series or barium swallow studies) or endoscopy. Rings are not always visualized during endoscopy in patients in whom they are suspected clinically. The Bolster technique involves application of epigastric abdominal pressure, which offers the potential to reveal a Schatzki ring that is otherwise obscured within a reduced hiatal hernia. The aim of this study was to determine whether the Bolster technique improves endoscopic detection of Schatzki rings.

METHODS: We reviewed 30 symptomatic patients with a history of a Schatzki ring in a tertiary care center. The Bolster technique was applied to patients in whom the ring was not visible during standard endoscopy. The main outcome measurement was identification of the Schatzki ring after the Bolster technique.

RESULTS: A Schatzki ring was visible during standard endoscopy in 26 of the 30 patients. In the remaining 4, the ring was visible only after the application of the Bolster technique.

CONCLUSION: The Bolster technique is a simple maneuver that can increase detection rates of Schatzki rings during endoscopy.

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