Physiology of Deglutition and Classification of Esophageal Motor Disorders

Andre Duranceau, MD, Frédéric Nicodème, MD, PHD


The esophagus is a muscular conduit between the pharynx and stomach. It allows for antegrade and retrograde bolus transit, during deglutition, belching, or vomiting. At proximal and distal extremities, the muscle wall of the esophagus is organized in sphincters, whose role is mainly to prevent abnormal retrograde bolus regurgitation.

Knowledge about esophageal physiology has developed in parallel with the emergence of esophageal manometry. Thus, the importance, in the current chapter, to summarize esophageal physiology and its motor abnormalities as observed with the recent development of high resolution manometry.

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Last updated: October 12, 2023