, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 230-235

Solid-state computerized manometry improves diagnostic yield in pharyngeal dysphagia: simultaneous videoradiography and manometry in dysphagia patients with normal barium swallows

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Dynamic barium radiology with cine- or video recording has been the most frequently used technique for assessing patients with pharyngeal dysphagia. Although the diagnostic yield of the barium swallow has been high, many patients with pharyngeal dysphagia have normal dynamic barium radiology and remain a diagnostic dilemma. Could manometry add important diagnostic information in these patients?

Material and methods:

We examined 19 patients (12 men and 7 women, mean age 47 years, range 19–69 years) with pharyngeal dysphagia but a normal barium swallow with simultaneous videoradiography and pharyngeal manometry and compared their manometry to that found in 24 normal volunteers (11 men and 13 women, mean age 37 years, range 23–59 years).


Comparing mean values, the patient group showed statistically significant differences from the control group for eight of 10 manometric parameters. Fourteen of 19 patients showed at least one (five patients) and in most cases multiple (nine patients) manometric abnormalities (values exceeding normal mean by ±2SD) which might have contributed to their dysphagia: five patients with high upper esophageal sphincter (UES) resting pressures, five with high LIES residual pressures, three with weak pharyngeal contractions, three with pharyngeal “spasms,” seven with prolonged contraction/relaxation times, five with reduced compliance, and seven with UES/P incoordination.


Solid-state computerized manometry is a useful adjunct to videoradiography and can provide potentially important additional information in the diagnosis of dysphagia patients.

Supported in part by the National Institutes of Health Grant R1DK46245A and by the Royal Physiographical Society, Lund, Sweden.