Pressure topography metrics for high-resolution pharyngeal-esophageal manofluorography—a normative study of younger and older adults

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Abstract

Background

We aimed to define normative values for novel pressure topography metrics for high-resolution pharyngeal-esophageal manofluorography. The effects of age, gender, and bolus properties were examined.

Methods

Concurrent high-resolution manometry (HRM) and videofluoroscopy data were collected from 22 younger (aged 21–40) and 22 older (aged 60–80) healthy subjects. Pressure topography was analyzed by correlating pressure domains with videofluoroscopic events. Nine pressure topography metrics of the pharyngeal and proximal esophageal swallow were extracted; four of these were also compared with previously obtained esophageal HRM studies to assess the effects of catheter diameter.

Key Results

Older individuals exhibited more vigorous contractility in the pharynx than did younger subjects with all bolus types, but the greatest values for both groups were with effortful swallow and on that measure the age groups were similar. Upper esophageal sphincter (UES) intrabolus pressure during sphincter opening was also greater in the older subjects. Some gender differences were observed, particularly related to proximal esophageal contractile vigor. Bolus consistency had no consistent effect. Studies using the larger catheter diameter resulted in significantly greater contractile vigor in the UES and proximal esophagus.

Conclusions & Inferences

Older adults exhibited more vigorous pharyngeal contractions than young adults, albeit within a similar range of capacity, perhaps reflecting a compensatory response to other age-related physiological changes. Greater UES intrabolus pressures observed during bolus transit in the older group likely reflect reduced UES compliance with age. Normative data on novel HRM metrics collected in this study can serve as a reference for future clinical studies.

This study aimed to define normative values for novel pressure topography metrics of high-resolution pharyngeal-esophageal manometry with videofluoroscopy and examined the effects of age, gender and bolus properties on these measures. Results showed that older individuals exhibited more vigorous contractility in the pharynx than did younger subjects in all but the effortful swallows, perhaps reflecting a compensatory response to other age-related physiological changes.

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