What is the pathophysiology of diffuse esophageal spasm?

Updated: Aug 07, 2019
  • Author: Ahmad Malas, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Simplistically, diffuse esophageal spasms occur when the propagative waves do not progress correctly. Usually, several segments of the esophagus contract simultaneously, preventing the propagation of the food bolus. In addition, diffuse esophageal spasms can be characterized by rapid wave progression down the esophagus or distinguished by a nonperistaltic response to swallowing. The usual presentation is intermittent dysphagia with occasional chest pain. Myotomy, which is performed only in extreme cases, can relieve the uncoordinated contractions. [5, 6, 7, 8, 9]


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