, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 211–215 | Cite as

Esophageal motility, heartburn, and gastroesophageal reflux: Variations in clinical presentation of esophageal dysphagia

  • Dennis L. Decktor
  • Melvin L. Allen
  • Malcolm Robinson


Dysphagia is a potentially important symptom, often leading to the finding of an anatomical or motility disorder of the esophagus. Dysphagia and heartburn represent two of the most common symptoms associated with esophageal motility disorders. To explore the relationship of symptomatic esophageal dysphagia and heartburn and their association with primary esophageal motor disorders, we have performed a retrospective assessment of 1035 patient evaluations performed at our gastrointestinal laboratory. A clear statistical association of symptomatic dysphagia and heartburn was established; however, no pattern diagnostic of a specific motility disorder was discernible. A sizable fraction of our patient population with dysphagia demonstrated normal esophageal motility. A significant portion of dyspeptic patients exhibited both normal motility and acid exposure. The differences observed between the incidence of subjective symptoms and objective dysfunction may be explained in part by an altered or increased esophageal sensitivity of these patients.

Key words

Dysphagia Deglutition Deglutition disorders Gastroesophageal reflux Dysphagia, symptoms Heartburn 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis L. Decktor
    • 1
  • Melvin L. Allen
    • 1
  • Malcolm Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Oklahoma Foundation for Digestive ResearchOklahoma CityUSA

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