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What Is the Impact of High-Resolution Manometry in the Functional Diagnostic Workup of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease?

International guidelines agree that high-resolution esophageal manometry (HRM) is an integral part of the diagnostic evaluation of patients with refractory reflux symptoms and should be performed before antireflux surgery. Its most important goal is to explore differential diagnoses, in particular major esophageal motility disturbances, that may be responsible for symptoms. HRM additionally provides insights into all relevant pathomechanisms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): It can reveal important information on the morphology and function of the esophagogastric junction (EGJ), the presence of a hiatus hernia, transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations, and dysmotility of the esophageal body. To obtain this information, a 3-step hierarchical system has been proposed for the algorithmic characterization of esophageal motor function. The first step is to investigate the morphology and contractility of the EGJ, the second to monitor esophageal body motor patterns in response to water swallows, and the third to determine the contraction reserve in patients with abnormal esophageal motor function using provocation tests. Observations made with HRM can not only explain the cause of symptoms in GERD patients but may also have the potential to direct specific treatment.

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