Changes in specific esophageal neuromechanical wall states are associated with conscious awareness of a solid swallowed bolus in healthy subjects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Esophageal neuromechanical wall states are the physical manifestations of circular muscle inhibition and contraction resulting from neural inputs and leading to bolus propulsion. A novel method infers esophageal neuromechanical wall states through simultaneous determination of pressure and diameter in vivo using impedance manometry. We hypothesized that changes in esophageal neuromechanical wall states relate to conscious awareness of esophageal bolus passage (“bolus perception”). Seven healthy participants were selected for perception of solid bolus passage and were compared with seven healthy participants with no conscious awareness of solid bolus passage. Participants were studied using impedance manometry (MMS Solar, Unisensor, 20 Hz). Subjects swallowed ten 5-ml liquid and ten 2-cm square saline-soaked bread boluses and rated bolus perception using a visual analog scale. Esophageal neuromechanical wall states were calculated and analyzed. Proportions of time spent in states with and without luminal distension were compared using a two-proportions Z-test. Bolus perception was associated with neuromechanical wall states corresponding to luminal distension more frequently than matching states without distension in the proximal esophagus (P < 0.001) and transition zone (P < 0.001), whereas there were no differences for the distal esophagus. In healthy volunteers, perceived swallows relate to changes in esophageal neuromechanical wall states in the proximal esophagus. We postulate that these changes relate to bolus retention and summation of active and passive wall tension activating intramural tension receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G946-G954
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Volume318
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • Bolus perception
  • Dysphagia
  • esophageal symptoms
  • neuromechanical wall states
  • solid bolus

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