A new objective measurement of esophageal lumen patency.
This study was performed to develop a system to measure dysphagia in an objective fashion, test its correlation with subjective estimates of dysphagia, and encourage the use of a standardized measure of esophageal stenosis. Thirty-five patients with mechanical dysphagia underwent subjective estimates of dysphagia using a dysphagia scale graded from 0 to 5, as well as a diet scale. Lumen diameter was measured endoscopically, using the open or closed biopsy forceps as a measuring guide. Patients were then given barium capsules or tablets of increasing diameter under fluoroscopy, in the upright position. Pills were given sequentially until a pill failed to traverse the esophagus in less than 20 s. The diameter of the pill failing to traverse the esophagus within 20 s correlated strongly with the endoscopically measured diameter by Spearmans rank correlation (Rs = 0.85). The weakest correlation was between endoscopically measured diameter and the dysphagia scale (Rs = 0.48). The diameter of the pill failing to traverse the esophagus within 20 s is an excellent estimate of esophageal lumen diameter. Pill size correlates much better with esophageal lumen diameter than dysphagia or diet scales. This new dysphagia assessment system should simplify standardization of the grading of dysphagia.
Goldschmid, S; Boyce, HW; Brown, JI; Brady, PG; Nord, HJ; Lyman, GH
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