Frequency of Jackhammer Esophagus as the Extreme Phenotypes of Esophageal Hypercontractility Based on the New Chicago Classification

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Abstract

Background:

Jackhammer Esophagus is defined as intact esophageal peristaltic contractions with extremely elevated amplitudes. We conducted a retrospective study to identify the frequency of esophageal hypercontractility and the clinical characteristics of Jackhammer Esophagus.

Methods:

Charts for the patients referred for manometric study at a tertiary-care motility center were reviewed. Data were collected utilizing the new Chicago classification criteria for Jackhammer Esophagus. Concomitant clinical variables were also explored.

Results:

Eight patients were identified with Jackhammer Esophagus from a total of 205 (127 female/77 male) patients referred for high-resolution esophageal manometry. Jackhammer patients had an average distal contractile integral (DCI) of 9061 mmHg/ sec/ cm and median maximal DCI of 16,433 mmHg/ sec/ cm. The greatest DCI from 15 swallows was 28,875 mmHg/ sec/ cm. Hypercontractility was associated with multipeaked contractions in every Jackhammer patient. The mean lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure was 41 mm Hg with 4 patients having a hypertensive pressure of >40 mm Hg. Three of the 8 (37.5%) Jackhammer group had incomplete LES relaxation by integrated relaxation pressure criteria (>15 mm Hg residual pressure). Dysphagia (8/8) was the dominant indication for the manometric study, whereas the clinical background setting was gastroesophageal reflux disease (4/8) and hiatal hernia (1/8). Treatments included smooth muscle relaxation, antireflux regimens, and pneumatic dilation of the LES.

Conclusions:

Jackhammer Esophagus, an extreme manometric phenotype, was identified in 4.0% of patients referred to a University Motility Center. The patients with these esophageal hypercontractility states present mainly with dysphagia. A subgroup of Jackhammer did have accompanying incomplete LES relaxation and responded to targeted therapy with pneumatic dilatation.

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