Esophageal motility study
|Esophageal motility study|
An EMS is typically done to evaluate suspected disorders of motility or peristalsis of the esophagus. These include achalasia, diffuse esophageal spasm, nutcracker esophagus and hypertensive lower esophageal sphincter. These disorders typically present with dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, usually to both solids and liquids even initially. Other patients with spasm disorders may have the test done to diagnose chest pain thought not to be of cardiac cause.
A technician places a catheter into the nose and then guides it into the stomach. Once placed in the stomach lining, the catheter is slowly withdrawn, allowing it to detect pressure changes and to record information for later review. The patient will be asked at times to take a deep breath or to take some swallows of water. The degree of discomfort varies among patients. Patients are not sedated because sedatives would alter the functioning of the esophageal muscles. Overall the procedure takes about 45 minutes. After the procedure is complete, patients can usually resume their normal daily activities.
Other diagnostic tests for swallowing
Recently, high resolution manometry (HRM) has been developed that significantly reduces the procedure time (10 minutes versus 45 minutes with conventional manometry) and provides enhanced patient comfort. Newer catheters incorporate concurrent impedance with HRM.