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Motility disorders of the esophagus: diagnosis with barium-rice administration

Authors
Journal
European Journal of Radiology
0720-048X
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
21
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0720-048x(95)00693-k
Keywords
  • Esophagus
  • Function
  • Esophagus
  • Motility
  • Barium
  • Achalasia
  • Connective Tissue
  • Diseases
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Purpose: To evaluate the role of barium-rice administration for a standardized diagnosis of dysphagia and esophageal motility disorders. Materials and methods: Sixty healthy volunteers and 218 patients with various esophageal disorders (achalasia, scleroderma and other connective tissue diseases, neurologic diseases, esophagitis and others) were examined both by a conventional barium study and by a barium-rice study. The barium-rice meal consisted of barium sulfate and boiled rice, mixed half and half. The time required for esophageal clearance of one sip was measured. Results: Normal esophageal transit time in healthy controls was between 5 and 15 s for both methods. In patients, the conventional barium study revealed a prolonged transit time in only 16.5% (36 of the 218 cases). The barium-rice study was abnormal in 51.8% (113 of 218 cases), independent of the underlying disease. The barium-rice study was pathological in 77 of those 182 patients (42.3%) who had normal barium transit time. In 24 patients the radiologic results were confirmed by endoscopy and manometric measurements. Conclusions: Esophageal motility abnormalities are detected by a barium-rice study with a high sensitivity. With this simple and low-cost method, quantitative and reproducible results can be obtained. Barium-rice administration is a suitable tool for screening and follow-up of patients with dysphagia and esophageal motility disorders.

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