In achalasia, absent peristalsis and reduced esophagogastric junction (EGJ) relaxation and compliance underlie dysphagia symptoms. Novel high-resolution impedance manometry variables, that is, bolus presence time (BPT) and trans-EGJ-bolus flow time (BFT) have been developed to estimate the duration of EGJ opening and trans-EGJ bolus flow. The aim of this study was to evaluate esophageal motor function and bolus flow in children diagnosed with achalasia using these variables.Methods:
High-resolution impedance manometry recordings from 20 children who fulfilled the Chicago Classification (V3) criteria for achalasia were compared with recordings of 15 children with normal esophageal high-resolution manometry findings and no other evidence suggestive of achalasia. Matlab-based analysis software was used to calculate BPT and BFT.Results:
Both BPT and BFT were significantly reduced in achalasia patients compared with children with normal esophageal motility (BPT 3.3 s vs 5.1 s P < 0.01; BFT 1.4 s vs 4.3 s P < 0.001). BFT was significantly lower than BPT (achalasia difference 1.9 s ± 1.3 s, P = 0.001 and normal difference 0.9 ± 0.3 s, P = 0.001). Overall, there was a significant correlation between BPT and BFT (r = 0.825, P < 0.001). We observed a 2-way differentiation of achalasia patients; those in whom the BPT and BFT were proportional, but significantly lower than in patients with normal peristalsis, and those in whom BFT was disproportionately lower than BPT.Conclusions:
Calculation of BPT and BFT may help determine whether esophageal bolus transport to the EGJ and/or esophageal emptying through the EGJ are aberrant. For achalasia, this may detect flow resistance at the EGJ, potentially improving both diagnosis and objective assessment of therapeutic effects.