High-resolution manometry combined with impedance measurements discriminates the cause of dysphagia in children.

Nathalie Rommel, Taher Omari, Margot Selleslagh, Stamatiki Kritas, Charles Cock, Rachel Rosen, Leonel Rodriguez, Samuel Nurko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Pressure-flow analysis allows assessing esophageal bolus transport in relation to esophageal pressures. This study aimed to characterize pressure-flow metrics in relation to dysphagia in paediatric patients. We analysed esophageal pressure-impedance recordings of 5 ml liquid and viscous swallows from 35 children (17 M, mean 10.5 ± 0.8 years). Primary indication for referral was gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) (9), post-fundoplication dysphagia (5), idiopathic dysphagia (16), trachea-esophageal fistula (2) and other (3). Peristaltic function was assessed using the 20 mmHg iso-contour defect and the timing between bolus pressure and flow was assessed using the Pressure Flow Index, a metric elevated in relation to dysphagia. Patients were stratified in relation to dysphagia and to peristaltic defect size. Dysphagia was characterized by a weaker peristalsis for liquids and higher Pressure Flow Index for viscous. When patients were stratified based on weak or normal peristalsis, dysphagia with weak peristalsis related to a larger iso-contour defect size and dysphagia with normal peristalsis related to higher Pressure Flow Index. Conclusion: Pressure-flow analysis enables differentiation of patients with dysphagia due to weak peristalsis (poor bolus clearance) from abnormal bolus flow resistance (esophageal outflow obstruction). This new dichotomous categorization of esophageal function may help guide the selection of optimal treatment such as pharmacological or endoscopic therapy.What is Known:• Pressure-flow analysis (PFA) can detect abnormalities in esophageal motility using integrated analysis of bolus propulsion and bolus flow during swallowing.• AIM analysis has recently been reported to be useful in identifying subtle pre-operative esophageal dysfunction in adult patients who developed post-fundoplication dysphagia as well as in patients with non-obstructive dysphagia.What is New:• Pressure-flow parameters can distinguish the cause of dysphagia in paediatric patients.• Combined high-resolution manometry and impedance measurements with pressure-flow analysis can differentiate paediatric patients with dysphagia symptoms in relation to either weak peristalsis (poor bolus clearance) or over-pressurization (abnormal bolus flow resistance).How might it impact on clinical practice in the future?• This study supports the use of a novel objective analysis method on recordings that are readily used in paediatric clinical practice.• The pressure-flow approach allows discriminating esophageal dysfunction in relation to dysphagia symptoms in children. This has not been achieved in children with current analysis methods.• The new findings of this study allow a dichotomous categorization of esophageal function, which may help to guide the selection of the most optimal treatment such as pharmacological or endoscopic therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1629-1637
Number of pages9
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Dysphagia
  • Esophageal motility
  • High-resolution manometry
  • Impedance measurement


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