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Rapid Drink Challenge in high-resolution manometry: an adjunctive test for detection of esophageal motility disorders.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: The Chicago Classification for diagnosis of esophageal motility disorders by high-resolution manometry (HRM) is based on single water swallows (SWS). Emerging data suggest that a "Rapid Drink Challenge" (RDC) increases sensitivity for motility disorders. This study establishes normal values and diagnostic thresholds for RDC in clinical practice.

METHODS: Two cohort studies were performed in patients with dysphagia or reflux symptoms (development and validation sets). Healthy subjects and patient controls provided reference values. Ten SWS and two 200-mL RDC were performed. Primary diagnosis for SWS was established by the Chicago Classification. Abnormal RDC was defined by impaired esophagogastric junction (EGJ) function (elevated integrated relaxation pressure during RDC [IRP-RDC]); incomplete inhibition of contractility during and ineffective contraction after RDC. Diagnostic thresholds identified in the development set were prospectively tested in the validation set.

RESULTS: Normal values were determined in healthy (n=95; age 37.8 ± 12) and patient controls (n=44; age 46.4 ± 15). Development and validation sets included 178 (54 ± 17 years) and 226 (53 ± 16 years) patients, respectively. Integrated relaxation pressure during RDC was higher for SWS than RDC in all groups (overall P<.001), except achalasia. Rapid Drink Challenge suppressed contractility, except in achalasia type III, spasm, and hypercontractile motility disorders (P<.001). An effective after-contraction was present more often in health than disease (P<.001). Optimal diagnostic thresholds identified in the development set (IRP-RDC ≥12 mmHg achalasia, IRP-RDC ≥ 8mmHg "all cause" EGJ dysfunction), were confirmed in the validation set (both, sensitivity ~85%, specificity >95%).

CONCLUSIONS: Rapid Drink Challenge contributes clinically relevant information to routine HRM studies, especially in patients with EGJ dysfunction.

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