What is the role of esophageal manometry in the workup of Zenker diverticulum?

Updated: Jan 23, 2018
  • Author: Joel A Ernster, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

Esophageal manometry has been used to elucidate the pathophysiology of the upper esophagus, which is responsible for the diverticular formation. However, upper esophageal manometry is technically difficult to perform. Results are confounded by the asymmetry of the upper esophageal sphincter. Pressures can be very high, but they last for only a fraction of a second, resulting in difficulty obtaining equipment sensitive enough to demonstrate these pressures accurately.

To further confound the problem, the process of obtaining measurements stimulates the swallowing reflex, resulting in the catheter being displaced and the data lost. Because of these limitations, very few studies have been performed to describe the manometric aspects of Zenker diverticulum. Manometry is certainly not useful in routine patient evaluation.


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