What is the role of lab studies in the workup of esophageal spasm?

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

Laboratory evaluation usually does not aid in the diagnosis if the patient's history and physical examination findings are unremarkable for other diseases mentioned in the differential diagnosis. All differentials mentioned can present with esophageal dysmotility.

The diagnostic modalities of choice are barium swallow and esophageal manometry.

Blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C levels should be checked to rule out diabetes. However, patients can have esophageal spasm and diabetes concomitantly.

The findings discovered by monitoring a patient's pH can demonstrate reflux, which can present with somewhat similar symptoms. In fact, gastroesophageal reflux is thought by some to trigger esophageal spasm.


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