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Dysphagia

Dysphagia is the subjective sensation of difficulty swallowing Swallowing The act of taking solids and liquids into the gastrointestinal tract through the mouth and throat. Gastrointestinal Motility. Symptoms can range from a complete inability to swallow, to the sensation of solids or liquids becoming “stuck.” Dysphagia is classified as either oropharyngeal or esophageal, with esophageal dysphagia having 2 sub-types: functional and mechanical. Common causes of functional dysphagia include achalasia Achalasia Achalasia is a primary esophageal motility disorder that develops from the degeneration of the myenteric plexus. This condition results in impaired lower esophageal sphincter relaxation and absence of normal esophageal peristalsis. Patients typically present with dysphagia to solids and liquids along with regurgitation. Achalasia, scleroderma Scleroderma Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) is an autoimmune condition characterized by diffuse collagen deposition and fibrosis. The clinical presentation varies from limited skin involvement to diffuse involvement of internal organs. Scleroderma, and diffuse esophageal spasm (DES). Mechanical causes of dysphagia include esophageal rings, webs, strictures, and cancer. Oropharyngeal dysphagia may be due to structural abnormalities or abnormal neuromuscular function and coordination Coordination Cerebellar Disorders. The diagnostic workup depends on the patient’s presenting symptoms, but may include manometry Manometry Measurement of the pressure or tension of liquids or gases with a manometer. Achalasia, barium esophagram, or direct visualization with nasopharyngeal laryngoscopy or endoscopy Endoscopy Procedures of applying endoscopes for disease diagnosis and treatment. Endoscopy involves passing an optical instrument through a small incision in the skin i.e., percutaneous; or through a natural orifice and along natural body pathways such as the digestive tract; and/or through an incision in the wall of a tubular structure or organ, i.e. Transluminal, to examine or perform surgery on the interior parts of the body. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Treatment varies depending on the underlying cause.

Last updated: 10 Dec, 2021

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Definition

Dysphagia is a condition in which there is a disruption of the swallowing Swallowing The act of taking solids and liquids into the gastrointestinal tract through the mouth and throat. Gastrointestinal Motility process, typically interfering with the ability to eat and drink.

Normal physiology

Swallowing Swallowing The act of taking solids and liquids into the gastrointestinal tract through the mouth and throat. Gastrointestinal Motility consists of 3 phases:

  1. Oral preparatory and transport phase:
    • Voluntary control of mastication Mastication The act and process of chewing and grinding food in the mouth. Jaw and Temporomandibular Joint: Anatomy
    • Food bolus is chewed and directed to the posterior tongue Tongue The tongue, on the other hand, is a complex muscular structure that permits tasting and facilitates the process of mastication and communication. The blood supply of the tongue originates from the external carotid artery, and the innervation is through cranial nerves. Lips and Tongue: Anatomy.
  2. Pharyngeal phase:
    • Involuntary swallow response
    • Food bolus is advanced through the pharynx Pharynx The pharynx is a component of the digestive system that lies posterior to the nasal cavity, oral cavity, and larynx. The pharynx can be divided into the oropharynx, nasopharynx, and laryngopharynx. Pharyngeal muscles play an integral role in vital processes such as breathing, swallowing, and speaking. Pharynx: Anatomy.
  3. Esophageal phase:
    • Involuntary esophageal peristalsis Peristalsis A movement, caused by sequential muscle contraction, that pushes the contents of the intestines or other tubular organs in one direction. Gastrointestinal Motility
    • Food bolus is advanced through the esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy.
Movement of food through oral and pharyngeal phases

Movement of a food bolus through the oral and pharyngeal phases of swallowing Swallowing The act of taking solids and liquids into the gastrointestinal tract through the mouth and throat. Gastrointestinal Motility

Image by Lecturio.

Classification

There are 2 categories of dysphagia:

  • Oropharyngeal dysphagia:
    • Difficulty initiating a swallow due to a disorder in the oral or pharyngeal phase
    • Patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship have difficulty transferring food from the mouth through the pharynx Pharynx The pharynx is a component of the digestive system that lies posterior to the nasal cavity, oral cavity, and larynx. The pharynx can be divided into the oropharynx, nasopharynx, and laryngopharynx. Pharyngeal muscles play an integral role in vital processes such as breathing, swallowing, and speaking. Pharynx: Anatomy.
  • Esophageal dysphagia: 
    • Disorder in the esophageal phase of swallowing Swallowing The act of taking solids and liquids into the gastrointestinal tract through the mouth and throat. Gastrointestinal Motility
    • Difficulty swallowing Swallowing The act of taking solids and liquids into the gastrointestinal tract through the mouth and throat. Gastrointestinal Motility that presents several seconds after initiating a swallow
    • May be accompanied by the feeling of food getting “stuck”
    • Broken into 2 sub-categories: 

Oropharyngeal Dysphagia

Epidemiology

  • Prevalence Prevalence The total number of cases of a given disease in a specified population at a designated time. It is differentiated from incidence, which refers to the number of new cases in the population at a given time. Measures of Disease Frequency in those ≥ 65 years of age:
    • 14%–33% in the community
    • Approximately 40% in hospitalized patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship
  • Occurs in ⅓ of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with Parkinson’s disease

Etiology

  • Disorders of the oral phase:
    • Poor dentition
    • Decreased salivary gland Salivary gland Glands that secrete saliva in the mouth. There are three pairs of salivary glands (parotid gland; sublingual gland; submandibular gland). Diseases of the Salivary Glands production:
      • Sjogren’s syndrome
      • From head and neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma
      • Medications ( anticholinergics Anticholinergics Anticholinergic drugs block the effect of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine at the muscarinic receptors in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Anticholinergic agents inhibit the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in effects on the smooth muscle in the respiratory tract, vascular system, urinary tract, GI tract, and pupils of the eyes. Anticholinergic Drugs, antihistamines Antihistamines Antihistamines are drugs that target histamine receptors, particularly H1 and H2 receptors. H1 antagonists are competitive and reversible inhibitors of H1 receptors. First-generation antihistamines cross the blood-brain barrier and can cause sedation. Antihistamines)
    • Disruptions in the oropharyngeal mucosa:
      • Mucositis Mucositis Stomatitis is a general term referring to inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth, which may include sores. Stomatitis can be caused by infections, autoimmune disorders, allergic reactions, or exposure to irritants. The typical presentation may be either solitary or a group of painful oral lesions. Stomatitis
      • Aphthous ulcers
      • Herpetic lesions Herpetic Lesions Female Genitourinary Examination
      • Trauma
    • Disruption in the neuromuscular response:
      • Stroke
      • Late-stage Parkinson’s disease
  • Disorders of the pharyngeal phase:
    • Structural abnormalities within the oropharynx Oropharynx The middle portion of the pharynx that lies posterior to the mouth, inferior to the soft palate, and superior to the base of the tongue and epiglottis. It has a digestive function as food passes from the mouth into the oropharynx before entering esophagus. Pharynx: Anatomy:
    • Disruptions in the involuntary swallow response coordination Coordination Cerebellar Disorders:
      • Stroke
      • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a sporadic or inherited neurodegenerative disease of upper motor neurons (UMNs) and lower motor neurons (LMNs). ALS is the most common progressive motor neuron disease in North America, primarily affecting men and individuals of Caucasian ethnicity. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
      • Myasthenia gravis Myasthenia Gravis Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by weakness and fatigability of skeletal muscles caused by dysfunction/destruction of acetylcholine receptors at the neuromuscular junction. MG presents with fatigue, ptosis, diplopia, dysphagia, respiratory difficulties, and progressive weakness in the limbs, leading to difficulty in movement. Myasthenia Gravis
      • Polio and post-polio syndrome
      • Parkinson’s disease
      • Multiple sclerosis Multiple Sclerosis Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that leads to demyelination of the nerves in the CNS. Young women are more predominantly affected by this most common demyelinating condition. Multiple Sclerosis
      • Muscular dystrophy Muscular Dystrophy Becker Muscular Dystrophy
      • Dermatomyositis Dermatomyositis A subacute or chronic inflammatory disease of muscle and skin, marked by proximal muscle weakness and a characteristic skin rash. The illness occurs with approximately equal frequency in children and adults. The skin lesions usually take the form of a purplish rash (or less often an exfoliative dermatitis) involving the nose, cheeks, forehead, upper trunk, and arms. The disease is associated with a complement mediated intramuscular microangiopathy, leading to loss of capillaries, muscle ischemia, muscle-fiber necrosis, and perifascicular atrophy. The childhood form of this disease tends to evolve into a systemic vasculitis. Dermatomyositis may occur in association with malignant neoplasms. Paraneoplastic Syndromes

Clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor

  • Symptoms:
  • Relevant history and associated symptoms:
    • Recurrent aspiration pneumonia Pneumonia Pneumonia or pulmonary inflammation is an acute or chronic inflammation of lung tissue. Causes include infection with bacteria, viruses, or fungi. In more rare cases, pneumonia can also be caused through toxic triggers through inhalation of toxic substances, immunological processes, or in the course of radiotherapy. Pneumonia
    • Suggestions of malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax:
    • Inadequate salivary production:
      • Dry mouth or eyes
      • Radiation Radiation Emission or propagation of acoustic waves (sound), electromagnetic energy waves (such as light; radio waves; gamma rays; or x-rays), or a stream of subatomic particles (such as electrons; neutrons; protons; or alpha particles). Osteosarcoma therapy
    • Neuromuscular dysfunction:
      • Weak cough
      • Dysarthria Dysarthria Disorders of speech articulation caused by imperfect coordination of pharynx, larynx, tongue, or face muscles. This may result from cranial nerve diseases; neuromuscular diseases; cerebellar diseases; basal ganglia diseases; brain stem diseases; or diseases of the corticobulbar tracts. The cortical language centers are intact in this condition. Wilson’s Disease, dysphonia Dysphonia Difficulty and/or pain in phonation or speaking. Epiglottitis, or nasal speech
      • Incoordination
      • Hoarseness Hoarseness An unnaturally deep or rough quality of voice. Parapharyngeal Abscess
    • Structural abnormalities:
      • Halitosis Halitosis An offensive, foul breath odor resulting from a variety of causes such as poor oral hygiene, dental or oral infections, or the ingestion of certain foods. Oral Cancer (Zenker’s diverticulum Diverticulum A pouch or sac opening from the colon. Diverticular Disease)
      • Fullness in the neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess
  • Physical exam:
    • Head and neck Neck The part of a human or animal body connecting the head to the rest of the body. Peritonsillar Abscess abnormalities to look for:
      • Lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy Lymphadenopathy is lymph node enlargement (> 1 cm) and is benign and self-limited in most patients. Etiologies include malignancy, infection, and autoimmune disorders, as well as iatrogenic causes such as the use of certain medications. Generalized lymphadenopathy often indicates underlying systemic disease. Lymphadenopathy
      • Poor dentition
      • Masses
      • Facial muscle weakness
    • Neurologic abnormalities to test for:
      • Sensory Sensory Neurons which conduct nerve impulses to the central nervous system. Nervous System: Histology cranial nerves Cranial nerves There are 12 pairs of cranial nerves (CNs), which run from the brain to various parts of the head, neck, and trunk. The CNs can be sensory or motor or both. The CNs are named and numbered in Roman numerals according to their location, from the front to the back of the brain. The 12 Cranial Nerves: Overview and Functions (V, IX, X)
      • Motor Motor Neurons which send impulses peripherally to activate muscles or secretory cells. Nervous System: Histology cranial nerves Cranial nerves There are 12 pairs of cranial nerves (CNs), which run from the brain to various parts of the head, neck, and trunk. The CNs can be sensory or motor or both. The CNs are named and numbered in Roman numerals according to their location, from the front to the back of the brain. The 12 Cranial Nerves: Overview and Functions (V, VII, X, XII)
      • Loss of gag reflex Gag Reflex Cranial Nerve Palsies
      • Muscle strength Muscle strength The amount of force generated by muscle contraction. Muscle strength can be measured during isometric, isotonic, or isokinetic contraction, either manually or using a device such as a muscle strength dynamometer. Neurological Examination
      • Cogwheel rigidity Rigidity Continuous involuntary sustained muscle contraction which is often a manifestation of basal ganglia diseases. When an affected muscle is passively stretched, the degree of resistance remains constant regardless of the rate at which the muscle is stretched. This feature helps to distinguish rigidity from muscle spasticity. Megacolon
      • Shuffling gait Shuffling Gait Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

Diagnosis

  • Based on the patient’s history and symptoms, an appropriate workup should be initiated to diagnose an underlying etiology (e.g., Sjogren’s, dermatomyositis Dermatomyositis A subacute or chronic inflammatory disease of muscle and skin, marked by proximal muscle weakness and a characteristic skin rash. The illness occurs with approximately equal frequency in children and adults. The skin lesions usually take the form of a purplish rash (or less often an exfoliative dermatitis) involving the nose, cheeks, forehead, upper trunk, and arms. The disease is associated with a complement mediated intramuscular microangiopathy, leading to loss of capillaries, muscle ischemia, muscle-fiber necrosis, and perifascicular atrophy. The childhood form of this disease tends to evolve into a systemic vasculitis. Dermatomyositis may occur in association with malignant neoplasms. Paraneoplastic Syndromes, stroke, myasthenia gravis Myasthenia Gravis Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by weakness and fatigability of skeletal muscles caused by dysfunction/destruction of acetylcholine receptors at the neuromuscular junction. MG presents with fatigue, ptosis, diplopia, dysphagia, respiratory difficulties, and progressive weakness in the limbs, leading to difficulty in movement. Myasthenia Gravis, Parkinson’s disease).
  • Next, the following are used to determine the severity and mechanism of swallowing Swallowing The act of taking solids and liquids into the gastrointestinal tract through the mouth and throat. Gastrointestinal Motility dysfunction:
    • Video fluoroscopy Fluoroscopy Production of an image when x-rays strike a fluorescent screen. X-rays with modified barium swallow Barium Swallow Imaging of the Intestines:
      • Can test the effects of different barium consistencies
      • Analyzes the movement of anatomic structures
      • Detects oropharyngeal dysfunction and determines severity
      • Assesses for aspiration
    • Manometry Manometry Measurement of the pressure or tension of liquids or gases with a manometer. Achalasia: evaluates the pressure with pharyngeal contraction and in the upper esophageal sphincter Upper esophageal sphincter The structure at the pharyngoesophageal junction consisting chiefly of the cricopharyngeus muscle. It normally occludes the lumen of the esophagus, except during swallowing. Esophagus: Anatomy (UES function)
  • If no systemic process is suspected, or found, as an etiology:
    • Nasopharyngeal laryngoscopy:
      • Can evaluate for a structural lesion (tumors, Zenker’s diverticulum Diverticulum A pouch or sac opening from the colon. Diverticular Disease)
      • Visualizes the oropharynx Oropharynx The middle portion of the pharynx that lies posterior to the mouth, inferior to the soft palate, and superior to the base of the tongue and epiglottis. It has a digestive function as food passes from the mouth into the oropharynx before entering esophagus. Pharynx: Anatomy, hypopharynx, and larynx Larynx The larynx, also commonly called the voice box, is a cylindrical space located in the neck at the level of the C3-C6 vertebrae. The major structures forming the framework of the larynx are the thyroid cartilage, cricoid cartilage, and epiglottis. The larynx serves to produce sound (phonation), conducts air to the trachea, and prevents large molecules from reaching the lungs. Larynx: Anatomy
    • Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing Swallowing The act of taking solids and liquids into the gastrointestinal tract through the mouth and throat. Gastrointestinal Motility (FEES):
      • Similar to nasopharyngeal laryngoscopy, but can also assess function
      • Directly visualizes food and liquids as they are swallowed
      • Sensory Sensory Neurons which conduct nerve impulses to the central nervous system. Nervous System: Histology testing can also be performed.

Management

Management is guided by the diagnostic workup, and is focused on improving food transfer and preventing aspiration:

  • Treatment of any underlying disorder
  • Swallowing Swallowing The act of taking solids and liquids into the gastrointestinal tract through the mouth and throat. Gastrointestinal Motility rehabilitation:
    • Motor Motor Neurons which send impulses peripherally to activate muscles or secretory cells. Nervous System: Histology exercises
    • Head placement while eating
  • Dietary modifications:
    • Thickened liquids
    • Smaller bites of food
    • Alternating solids and liquids when eating
  • Nutrition supplementation 
  • Enteral nutrition Enteral nutrition Nutritional support given via the alimentary canal or any route connected to the gastrointestinal system (i.e., the enteral route). This includes oral feeding, sip feeding, and tube feeding using nasogastric, gastrostomy, and jejunostomy tubes. Short Bowel Syndrome may need to be considered for severe dysfunction and aspiration risk.
  • Surgery (Zenker’s diverticulum Diverticulum A pouch or sac opening from the colon. Diverticular Disease)

Esophageal Dysphagia: Functional and Motility Disorders

Esophageal functional and motility Motility The motor activity of the gastrointestinal tract. Gastrointestinal Motility disorders typically occur due to pathology of the muscles of the esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy, causing a disruption in peristalsis Peristalsis A movement, caused by sequential muscle contraction, that pushes the contents of the intestines or other tubular organs in one direction. Gastrointestinal Motility. All functional and motility Motility The motor activity of the gastrointestinal tract. Gastrointestinal Motility disorders exhibit dysphagia with liquids and solids at the onset.

Overview functional and motility disorders

Overview of functional and motility Motility The motor activity of the gastrointestinal tract. Gastrointestinal Motility disorders

Image by Lecturio.

Diffuse esophageal spasm (DES)

An esophageal motility Esophageal Motility Gastrointestinal Motility disorder characterized by hyperdynamic and non-propulsive contractions:

  • Etiology:  idiopathic Idiopathic Dermatomyositis
  • Pathophysiology: 
    • Not fully understood
    • Impaired inhibitory innervation of the muscles of the esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy and ↓ endogenous nitric oxide Nitric Oxide A free radical gas produced endogenously by a variety of mammalian cells, synthesized from arginine by nitric oxide synthase. Nitric oxide is one of the endothelium-dependent relaxing factors released by the vascular endothelium and mediates vasodilation. It also inhibits platelet aggregation, induces disaggregation of aggregated platelets, and inhibits platelet adhesion to the vascular endothelium. Nitric oxide activates cytosolic guanylate cyclase and thus elevates intracellular levels of cyclic gmp. Pulmonary Hypertension Drugs synthesis Synthesis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) → frequent, high-pressure, non-peristaltic contractions occurring spontaneously with normal peristalsis Peristalsis A movement, caused by sequential muscle contraction, that pushes the contents of the intestines or other tubular organs in one direction. Gastrointestinal Motility
  • Clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor:
    • May be asymptomatic
    • Intermittent, non-progressive dysphagia
    • Non- cardiac Cardiac Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR) chest pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
    • Can be aggravated with hot or cold liquids
    • Some patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship may have associated gastroesophageal reflux disease Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus. This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing symptoms such as retrosternal burning pain (heartburn). Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) ( GERD GERD Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus. This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing symptoms such as retrosternal burning pain (heartburn). Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)).
  • Diagnosis:
    • Manometry Manometry Measurement of the pressure or tension of liquids or gases with a manometer. Achalasia: simultaneous multi-peak, high-pressure contractions with intermittent normal peristalsis Peristalsis A movement, caused by sequential muscle contraction, that pushes the contents of the intestines or other tubular organs in one direction. Gastrointestinal Motility
    • Barium esophagram: severe, non-peristaltic contractions with a “corkscrew” pattern
  • Management:
    • Goal of therapy is symptomatic relief. 
    • Peppermint oil Peppermint Oil Antispasmodics to relax the esophageal smooth muscle
    • Calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes channel blockers
    • Proton pump inhibitors Proton Pump Inhibitors Compounds that inhibit h(+)-k(+)-exchanging ATPase. They are used as anti-ulcer agents and sometimes in place of histamine h2 antagonists for gastroesophageal reflux. Gastric Acid Drugs (PPIs) for GERD GERD Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus. This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing symptoms such as retrosternal burning pain (heartburn). Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) symptoms
    • Botulinum toxin Botulinum toxin Toxic proteins produced from the species Clostridium botulinum. The toxins are synthesized as a single peptide chain which is processed into a mature protein consisting of a heavy chain and light chain joined via a disulfide bond. The botulinum toxin light chain is a zinc-dependent protease which is released from the heavy chain upon endocytosis into presynaptic nerve endings. Once inside the cell the botulinum toxin light chain cleaves specific snare proteins which are essential for secretion of acetylcholine by synaptic vesicles. This inhibition of acetylcholine release results in muscular paralysis. Botulism injection into the lower esophageal sphincter Lower Esophageal Sphincter Esophagus: Anatomy (LES) for refractory cases

Scleroderma Scleroderma Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) is an autoimmune condition characterized by diffuse collagen deposition and fibrosis. The clinical presentation varies from limited skin involvement to diffuse involvement of internal organs. Scleroderma

Scleroderma Scleroderma Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) is an autoimmune condition characterized by diffuse collagen deposition and fibrosis. The clinical presentation varies from limited skin involvement to diffuse involvement of internal organs. Scleroderma is an autoimmune disorder Autoimmune Disorder Septic Arthritis that can cause atrophy Atrophy Decrease in the size of a cell, tissue, organ, or multiple organs, associated with a variety of pathological conditions such as abnormal cellular changes, ischemia, malnutrition, or hormonal changes. Cellular Adaptation and sclerosis Sclerosis A pathological process consisting of hardening or fibrosis of an anatomical structure, often a vessel or a nerve. Wilms Tumor of the distal esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy, resulting in diminished (or absent) peristalsis Peristalsis A movement, caused by sequential muscle contraction, that pushes the contents of the intestines or other tubular organs in one direction. Gastrointestinal Motility and LES pressure.

  • Pathophysiology: 
    • Atrophy Atrophy Decrease in the size of a cell, tissue, organ, or multiple organs, associated with a variety of pathological conditions such as abnormal cellular changes, ischemia, malnutrition, or hormonal changes. Cellular Adaptation and fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans of the smooth muscle in the distal ⅔ of the esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy →  ↓ peristalsis Peristalsis A movement, caused by sequential muscle contraction, that pushes the contents of the intestines or other tubular organs in one direction. Gastrointestinal Motility and loss of LES tone 
    • GERD GERD Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus. This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing symptoms such as retrosternal burning pain (heartburn). Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Barrett’s esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy, reflux esophagitis Esophagitis Esophagitis is the inflammation or irritation of the esophagus. The major types of esophagitis are medication-induced, infectious, eosinophilic, corrosive, and acid reflux. Patients typically present with odynophagia, dysphagia, and retrosternal chest pain. Esophagitis, and subsequent strictures may develop.
  • Clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor:
    • Acid reflux
    • Possible associated systemic symptoms:
      • Skin Skin The skin, also referred to as the integumentary system, is the largest organ of the body. The skin is primarily composed of the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (deep layer). The epidermis is primarily composed of keratinocytes that undergo rapid turnover, while the dermis contains dense layers of connective tissue. Skin: Structure and Functions thickening, sclerodactyly Sclerodactyly Scleroderma, calcinosis Calcinosis Pathologic deposition of calcium salts in tissues. Scleroderma, telangiectases
      • Raynaud’s phenomenon
      • Interstitial lung disease or fibrosis Fibrosis Any pathological condition where fibrous connective tissue invades any organ, usually as a consequence of inflammation or other injury. Bronchiolitis Obliterans
      • Pulmonary hypertension Pulmonary Hypertension Pulmonary hypertension (PH) or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is characterized by elevated pulmonary arterial pressure, which can lead to chronic progressive right heart failure. Pulmonary hypertension is grouped into 5 categories based on etiology, which include primary PAH, and PH due to cardiac disease, lung or hypoxic disease, chronic thromboembolic disease, and multifactorial or unclear etiologies. Pulmonary Hypertension, pericarditis Pericarditis Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium, often with fluid accumulation. It can be caused by infection (often viral), myocardial infarction, drugs, malignancies, metabolic disorders, autoimmune disorders, or trauma. Acute, subacute, and chronic forms exist. Pericarditis
      • Renal disease
  • Diagnosis:
    • Diagnosis of scleroderma Scleroderma Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) is an autoimmune condition characterized by diffuse collagen deposition and fibrosis. The clinical presentation varies from limited skin involvement to diffuse involvement of internal organs. Scleroderma is based on the clinical features and detection of anti-Scl-70 (anti-topoisomerase), anticentromere, or anti-RNA polymerase III Anti-RNA polymerase III Scleroderma antibodies Antibodies Immunoglobulins (Igs), also known as antibodies, are glycoprotein molecules produced by plasma cells that act in immune responses by recognizing and binding particular antigens. The various Ig classes are IgG (the most abundant), IgM, IgE, IgD, and IgA, which differ in their biologic features, structure, target specificity, and distribution. Immunoglobulins: Types and Functions.
    • Manometry Manometry Measurement of the pressure or tension of liquids or gases with a manometer. Achalasia: ↓ LES tone and absence of peristalsis Peristalsis A movement, caused by sequential muscle contraction, that pushes the contents of the intestines or other tubular organs in one direction. Gastrointestinal Motility in the body of the esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy
    • Endoscopy Endoscopy Procedures of applying endoscopes for disease diagnosis and treatment. Endoscopy involves passing an optical instrument through a small incision in the skin i.e., percutaneous; or through a natural orifice and along natural body pathways such as the digestive tract; and/or through an incision in the wall of a tubular structure or organ, i.e. Transluminal, to examine or perform surgery on the interior parts of the body. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): reflux esophagitis Esophagitis Esophagitis is the inflammation or irritation of the esophagus. The major types of esophagitis are medication-induced, infectious, eosinophilic, corrosive, and acid reflux. Patients typically present with odynophagia, dysphagia, and retrosternal chest pain. Esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy, or esophageal stricture Stricture Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis
  • Management:
    • PPIs
    • Endoscopic dilation for strictures
    • Gastroplasty or fundoplication for refractory GERD GERD Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus. This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing symptoms such as retrosternal burning pain (heartburn). Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Achalasia Achalasia Achalasia is a primary esophageal motility disorder that develops from the degeneration of the myenteric plexus. This condition results in impaired lower esophageal sphincter relaxation and absence of normal esophageal peristalsis. Patients typically present with dysphagia to solids and liquids along with regurgitation. Achalasia

A neurogenic esophageal motility Esophageal Motility Gastrointestinal Motility disorder resulting in impaired LES relaxation and diminished peristalsis Peristalsis A movement, caused by sequential muscle contraction, that pushes the contents of the intestines or other tubular organs in one direction. Gastrointestinal Motility:

  • Etiology: 
    • Primary: idiopathic Idiopathic Dermatomyositis (most common)
    • Secondary: due to malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax or Chagas disease Chagas disease Infection with the protozoan parasite trypanosoma cruzi, a form of trypanosomiasis endemic in central and south america. It is named after the brazilian physician carlos chagas, who discovered the parasite. Infection by the parasite (positive serologic result only) is distinguished from the clinical manifestations that develop years later, such as destruction of parasympathetic ganglia; chagas cardiomyopathy; and dysfunction of the esophagus or colon. Trypanosoma cruzi/Chagas disease
  • Pathophysiology: 
    • Degeneration of ganglion cells Ganglion Cells The Visual Pathway and Related Disorders in Auerbach’s plexus → failure of smooth muscle relaxation at the LES → progressive loss of peristaltic function in the distal esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy
    • ↑ LES pressure → obstruction and secondary esophageal dilation → retention of foods and liquids in the esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy
  • Clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor:
  • Diagnosis:
    • Esophageal manometry Manometry Measurement of the pressure or tension of liquids or gases with a manometer. Achalasia (preferred test): incomplete relaxation of the LES, ↑ resting LES pressure, and aperistalsis of the distal ⅔ of the esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy
    • Barium esophagram: suggestive findings of a “bird’s beak” esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy
    • Endoscopy Endoscopy Procedures of applying endoscopes for disease diagnosis and treatment. Endoscopy involves passing an optical instrument through a small incision in the skin i.e., percutaneous; or through a natural orifice and along natural body pathways such as the digestive tract; and/or through an incision in the wall of a tubular structure or organ, i.e. Transluminal, to examine or perform surgery on the interior parts of the body. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) with biopsy Biopsy Removal and pathologic examination of specimens from the living body. Ewing Sarcoma: Rule out secondary causes, such as malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax and Chagas disease Chagas disease Infection with the protozoan parasite trypanosoma cruzi, a form of trypanosomiasis endemic in central and south america. It is named after the brazilian physician carlos chagas, who discovered the parasite. Infection by the parasite (positive serologic result only) is distinguished from the clinical manifestations that develop years later, such as destruction of parasympathetic ganglia; chagas cardiomyopathy; and dysfunction of the esophagus or colon. Trypanosoma cruzi/Chagas disease.
  • Management: 
    • Treatment is aimed at ↓ LES pressure.
    • Mechanical stretching of muscle fibers: 
      • Pneumatic balloon dilation
      • Surgical myotomy 
    • Chemical reduction of LES pressure: 
      • Botulinum toxin Botulinum toxin Toxic proteins produced from the species Clostridium botulinum. The toxins are synthesized as a single peptide chain which is processed into a mature protein consisting of a heavy chain and light chain joined via a disulfide bond. The botulinum toxin light chain is a zinc-dependent protease which is released from the heavy chain upon endocytosis into presynaptic nerve endings. Once inside the cell the botulinum toxin light chain cleaves specific snare proteins which are essential for secretion of acetylcholine by synaptic vesicles. This inhibition of acetylcholine release results in muscular paralysis. Botulism injection into the LES 
      • Oral nitrates Nitrates Nitrates are a class of medications that cause systemic vasodilation (veins > arteries) by smooth muscle relaxation. Nitrates are primarily indicated for the treatment of angina, where preferential venodilation causes pooling of blood, decreased preload, and ultimately decreased myocardial O2 demand. Nitrates
      • Calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes channel blockers

Esophageal Dysphagia: Mechanical and Obstructive Disorders

Esophageal mechanical and obstructive disorders typically occur due to obstruction of the esophageal lumen. All mechanical and obstructive disorders exhibit dysphagia with solids with progression to liquids.

Overview mechanical and obstructive disorders

Overview of mechanical and obstructive disorders

Image by Lecturio.

Esophageal rings and webs

Rings and webs are thin mucosal strictures that partially occlude the esophageal lumen:

  • Definitions:
    • Esophageal ring:
      • Concentric tissue protruding into the esophageal lumen
      • Most commonly in the distal esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy
      • Usually mucosal, but can be due to hypertrophy Hypertrophy General increase in bulk of a part or organ due to cell enlargement and accumulation of fluids and secretions, not due to tumor formation, nor to an increase in the number of cells (hyperplasia). Cellular Adaptation of smooth muscle
    • Esophageal web: 
      • Eccentric membranes that protrude into the esophageal lumen
      • Most commonly occur anteriorly in the proximal esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy
  • Pathophysiology:
    • Etiology is unknown.
    • Rings may be due to chronic damage from GERD GERD Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus. This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing symptoms such as retrosternal burning pain (heartburn). Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
  • Clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor:
    • Usually asymptomatic
    • Dysphagia is intermittent.
  • Diagnosis:
    • Barium esophagram: Rings and webs appear as thin, circumferential or eccentric narrowing in the esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy.
  • Specific conditions:
    • Schatzki ring: 
      • Associated with GERD GERD Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus. This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing symptoms such as retrosternal burning pain (heartburn). Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), eosinophilic esophagitis Esophagitis Esophagitis is the inflammation or irritation of the esophagus. The major types of esophagitis are medication-induced, infectious, eosinophilic, corrosive, and acid reflux. Patients typically present with odynophagia, dysphagia, and retrosternal chest pain. Esophagitis, and hiatal hernia Hiatal hernia Stomach herniation located at or near the diaphragmatic opening for the esophagus, the esophageal hiatus. Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernias
      • Located in the distal esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy (proximal to the LES)
      • More common in patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship > 40 years of age
      • Treatment: esophageal dilation and PPIs
    • Plummer-Vinson syndrome Plummer-Vinson syndrome A syndrome of dysphagia with iron-deficiency anemia that is due to congenital anomalies in the esophagus (such as cervical esophageal webs). It is known as patterson-kelly syndrome in the united kingdom. Iron Deficiency Anemia
      • Clinical triad: iron deficiency anemia Iron Deficiency Anemia Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia worldwide. This form of anemia is caused by insufficient iron due to a decreased supply, an increased loss, or an increased demand. Iron deficiency anemia is seen across all ages, sexes, and socioeconomic strata; however, children, women of childbearing age, and patients from lower socioeconomic strata are at higher risk. Iron Deficiency Anemia, dysphagia, and cervical esophageal webs
      • More common in middle-aged women
      • Associated with an increased risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma A carcinoma that originates usually from cells on the surface of the middle and lower third of the esophagus. Tumor cells exhibit typical squamous morphology and form large polypoid lesions. Mutations in rnf6, lzts1, TGFbr2, dec1, and wwox1 genes are associated with this cancer. Esophageal Cancer (SCC)
      • Treatment: iron supplementation Iron Supplementation Iron Deficiency Anemia and esophageal dilation (for significant obstruction)

Esophageal (peptic) strictures

An esophageal stricture Stricture Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis is an abnormal narrowing of the esophageal lumen:

  • Etiology: 
    • Chronic inflammation Chronic Inflammation Inflammation from long-standing GERD GERD Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus. This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing symptoms such as retrosternal burning pain (heartburn). Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
    • Direct damage caused by the ingestion of acidic or alkali agents
  • Pathophysiology: 
    • Circumferential scarring Scarring Inflammation → reduced lumen of the esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy → progressive dysphagia of solids
    • Often located in the distal esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy
  • Clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor:
    • Dysphagia is gradually progressive.
    • History of GERD GERD Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus. This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing symptoms such as retrosternal burning pain (heartburn). Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
    • Remote history of ingestion of acid or alkali agents
    • May be associated with weight loss Weight loss Decrease in existing body weight. Bariatric Surgery
  • Diagnosis:
    • Barium esophagram: can establish the location, length, and number of strictures
    • Confirmed with endoscopy Endoscopy Procedures of applying endoscopes for disease diagnosis and treatment. Endoscopy involves passing an optical instrument through a small incision in the skin i.e., percutaneous; or through a natural orifice and along natural body pathways such as the digestive tract; and/or through an incision in the wall of a tubular structure or organ, i.e. Transluminal, to examine or perform surgery on the interior parts of the body. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and biopsy Biopsy Removal and pathologic examination of specimens from the living body. Ewing Sarcoma (to rule out cancer)
  • Management:
    • High-dose PPIs
    • Periodic esophageal dilation

Esophageal cancer Esophageal cancer Esophageal cancer is 1 of the most common causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Nearly all esophageal cancers are either adenocarcinoma (commonly affecting the distal esophagus) or squamous cell carcinoma (affecting the proximal two-thirds of the esophagus). Esophageal Cancer

  • Etiology:
    • SCC: cancer of the upper ⅔ of the esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy, commonly seen in:
      • Smokers
      • Alcohol intake 
      • Achalasia Achalasia Achalasia is a primary esophageal motility disorder that develops from the degeneration of the myenteric plexus. This condition results in impaired lower esophageal sphincter relaxation and absence of normal esophageal peristalsis. Patients typically present with dysphagia to solids and liquids along with regurgitation. Achalasia
    • Adenocarcinoma: cancer of the distal esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy, commonly seen in older patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship with Barrett’s esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy
  • Pathophysiology: cancer overgrowth → reduced lumen of the esophagus Esophagus The esophagus is a muscular tube-shaped organ of around 25 centimeters in length that connects the pharynx to the stomach. The organ extends from approximately the 6th cervical vertebra to the 11th thoracic vertebra and can be divided grossly into 3 parts: the cervical part, the thoracic part, and the abdominal part. Esophagus: Anatomy → progressive dysphagia 
  • Clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor:
    • Progressive dysphagia
    • Odynophagia Odynophagia Epiglottitis ( pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways with swallowing Swallowing The act of taking solids and liquids into the gastrointestinal tract through the mouth and throat. Gastrointestinal Motility) in 20% of patients Patients Individuals participating in the health care system for the purpose of receiving therapeutic, diagnostic, or preventive procedures. Clinician–Patient Relationship
    • Weight loss Weight loss Decrease in existing body weight. Bariatric Surgery (cachexia)
    • Iron deficiency anemia Iron Deficiency Anemia Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia worldwide. This form of anemia is caused by insufficient iron due to a decreased supply, an increased loss, or an increased demand. Iron deficiency anemia is seen across all ages, sexes, and socioeconomic strata; however, children, women of childbearing age, and patients from lower socioeconomic strata are at higher risk. Iron Deficiency Anemia (from chronic upper gastrointestinal blood loss)
    • Cough and hoarseness Hoarseness An unnaturally deep or rough quality of voice. Parapharyngeal Abscess may be seen due to local tumor Tumor Inflammation spread.
  • Diagnosis:
    • Endoscopy Endoscopy Procedures of applying endoscopes for disease diagnosis and treatment. Endoscopy involves passing an optical instrument through a small incision in the skin i.e., percutaneous; or through a natural orifice and along natural body pathways such as the digestive tract; and/or through an incision in the wall of a tubular structure or organ, i.e. Transluminal, to examine or perform surgery on the interior parts of the body. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) with biopsy Biopsy Removal and pathologic examination of specimens from the living body. Ewing Sarcoma: for definitive diagnosis
    • Barium esophagram: “apple core” lesion
  • Management:
    • Staging Staging Methods which attempt to express in replicable terms the extent of the neoplasm in the patient. Grading, Staging, and Metastasis:
      • Positron emission tomography ( PET PET An imaging technique that combines a positron-emission tomography (PET) scanner and a ct X ray scanner. This establishes a precise anatomic localization in the same session. Nuclear Imaging)
      • Computed tomography (CT) 
    • Resection is the only curative therapy.
    • Chemoradiation
    • Palliative treatments for advanced disease

References

  1. Lynch, K.L. (2020). Dysphagia. [online] MSD Manual Professional Version. Retrieved November 14, 2020, from https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/esophageal-and-swallowing-disorders/dysphagia
  2. Lynch, K.L. (2020). Overview of esophageal and swallowing disorders. [online] MSD Manual Professional Version. Retrieved November 14, 2020, from https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/esophageal-and-swallowing-disorders/overview-of-esophageal-and-swallowing-disorders
  3. Lynch, K.L. (2020). Diffuse esophageal spasm. [online] MSD Manual Professional Version. Retrieved December 1, 2020, from https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/esophageal-and-swallowing-disorders/diffuse-esophageal-spasm
  4. Lynch, K.L. (2020). Achalasia. [online] MSD Manual Professional Version. Retrieved December 1, 2020, from https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/esophageal-and-swallowing-disorders/achalasia
  5. Nevares, A.M. (2020). Systemic sclerosis. [online] MSD Manual Professional Version. Retrieved December 1, 2020, from https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal-and-connective-tissue-disorders/autoimmune-rheumatic-disorders/systemic-sclerosis
  6. Fass, R. (2020). Approach to the evaluation of dysphagia. In Robson, K.M. (Ed.), Uptodate. Retrieved November 14, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/approach-to-the-evaluation-of-dysphagia-in-adults
  7. Lembo, A.J. (2020). Oropharyngeal dysphagia: Etiology and pathogenesis. In Robson, K.M. (Ed.), Uptodate. Retrieved November 14, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/oropharyngeal-dysphagia-etiology-and-pathogenesis
  8. Lembo, A.J. (2020). Oropharyngeal dysphagia: Clinical features, diagnosis, and management. In Robson, K.M. (Ed.), Uptodate. Retrieved November 14, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/oropharyngeal-dysphagia-clinical-features-diagnosis-and-management
  9. Castell, D.O. (2019). Major disorders of esophageal hyperperistalsis: Clinical features diagnosis and management. In Robson, K.M. (Ed.), Uptodate. Retrieved December 1, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/major-disorders-of-esophageal-hyperperistalsis-clinical-features-diagnosis-and-management
  10. Ergun, G.A., & Kahrilas, P.J. (2020). Esophageal rings and webs. In Grover, S. (Ed.), Uptodate. Retrieved December 1, 2020, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/esophageal-rings-and-webs
  11. Paik, N.J., & Dawodu, S.T. (2020). Dysphagia. In Moberg-Wolff, E.A. (Ed.), Medscape. Retrieved November 14, 2020, from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2212409-overview

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