Shakespear, J., Blom, D., Huprich, J. et al. Surg Endosc (2004) 18: 459. doi:10.1007/s00464-003-8920-4
Background: Ineffective esophageal motility disorder (IEM) is a new, manometrically defined, esophageal motility disorder, associated with severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), GERD-associated respiratory symptoms, delayed acid clearance, and mucosal injury. Videoesophagram is an important, inexpensive, and widely available tool in the diagnostic evaluation of patients with esophageal pathologies. The efficacy of videoesophagography has not been rigorously examined in patients with IEM. The aim of this study was to determine the diagnostic value of videoesophagography in patients with IEM. Methods: The radiographic and manometric findings of 202 consecutive patients presenting with foregut symptoms were evaluated. IEM was defined by strict manometric criteria. All other named motility disorders such as achalasia were excluded. Videoesophagography was performed according to a standard protocol. Results: Of patients in this cohort, 16% (33/202) had IEM by manometric criteria. Of IEM patients, 55% (18/33) had an abnormal videoesophagram, while in 45% (15/33) this test was read as normal. Only 11% (15/137) of patients with a normal videoesophagram were found to have IEM. Sensitivity of videoesophagram was 54.6%, specificity 72.2%, positive predictive value only 27.7%, and negative predictive value 89.1% in the diagnosis of IEM. Conclusions: These data show that videoesophagram is relatively insensitive in detecting patients with IEM and should not be considered a valid diagnostic test for this disorder. We conclude that esophageal manometry is an indispensable diagnostic modality in the workup of a patient with suspected of IEM.