Epiphrenic Diverticulum: Clinical and Radiographic Findings in 27 Patients
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The purpose of our study was to reassess the clinical and radiographic findings in patients with epiphrenic diverticula. A search of our radiology files revealed 27 patients with epiphrenic diverticula within 10 cm of the gastroesophageal junction. Medical records and radiographic reports and images were reviewed to determine the clinical and radiographic findings. Twenty-three patients had a solitary epiphrenic diverticulum, three had two diverticula, and one had three diverticula. The diverticula arose from the right side of the distal esophagus in 19 patients and the left side in eight. The diverticula had a mean width of 4.4 cm and a mean height of 3.7 cm. Other findings included prolonged retention of barium in the diverticula in 19 patients, preferential filling in 11, retained debris in 5, regurgitation of barium or debris in 5, compression of the esophagus in 5, pseudodiverticula formation in 3, and ulceration in 1. We found a significant correlation between the width of the diverticulum and preferential filling with barium. Twelve patients had abnormal esophageal motility, with diffuse esophageal spasm in two. Seventeen patients had symptoms attributable to the diverticulum (dysphagia in 11 and/or reflux symptoms in 12). We also found a significant correlation between the size or preferential filling of the diverticulum and the presence of symptoms. Conversely, we found no correlation between esophageal dysmotility and the presence of symptoms. Our experience suggests that the development of symptoms in patients with epiphrenic diverticula is more likely to be related to the morphologic features of the diverticula than to underlying esophageal motility disorders.
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