What is oesophageal dysmotility

Oesophageal motility refers to the contractions that the oesophaus makes when it moves food from your mouth to your stomach. Oesophageal motility disorder, or oesophageal dysmotility, is a condition in which the oesophagus doesn’t work normally and fails to properly deliver liquids and food from the mouth to the stomach. It can be caused by oesophageal spasms or by the failure of the esophageal muscles to contract.

What are the causes of oesophageal dysmotility

Oesophageal motility disorders include achalasia; spastic oesophageal motility disorders (diffuse esophageal spasm, nutcracker esophagus, and hypertensive lower esophageal sphincter); and can be due to other underlying conditions such as related to scleroderma, diabetes mellitus or reflux.

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What are the symptoms of oesophageal dysmotility

Symptoms include: Chest pain, difficulty swallowing, heartburn, recurrent bouts of pneumonia, regurgitation. sensation of food getting stuck in your chest or neck and/or weight loss.


Endoscopy to look directly at the inner walls of the esophagus to evaluate narrowing and exclude presence of a tumor or another disease. Barium swallow studies to evaluate oesophageal anatomy, function (peristalsis), and reflux. Oesophageal manometry to measure the function of the oesophageal muscle. pH study to assess for abnormal reflux.


Treatment may simply involve reassurance; Some medications that reduce the spasm can be used. Balloon dilation of the lower esophagus to disrupt the abnormal obstructing sphincter in benign conditons. Occasionally Botulinum toxin or Botox injection can be injected into the area of the spasm. Heller’s myotomy, to divide the oesophageal sphincter muscle to allow food to pass through can be used in cases of achalasia.

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