Chronic cough is associated with long breaks in esophageal peristaltic integrity on highresolution manometry

Michael C. Bennett, Amit Patel, Nitin Sainani, Dan Wang, Gregory S. Sayuk, C. Prakash Gyawali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background/Aims Breaks in the peristaltic contour on esophageal high-resolution manometry (HRM) may be associated with bolus retention in the esophagus. We evaluated the relationship between peristaltic breaks and esophageal symptoms, reflux exposure, and symptom outcomes in a prospective patient cohort. Methods Two hundred and eighteen patients (53.2 ± 0.9 years, 68.3% female) undergoing both pH-impedance testing and HRM over a 5-year period were prospectively evaluated. Demographics, symptom presentation, acid exposure time, symptom association probability, and symptom burden scores were collected. Outcomes were assessed on follow-up using changes in symptom scores. Presence of long breaks (≥ 5 cm) on HRM was assessed by a blinded author. Relationships between breaks, reflux parameters, presenting symptoms, and outcomes were assessed. Results Patients with long breaks were more likely to have cough as a presenting symptom than those without (43.4% vs 28.6%, P = 0.024); statistical differences were not demonstrated with other symptoms (P ≥ 0.3). Numbers of swallows with long breaks were higher in patients with cough compared to those without (2.4 ± 0.3 vs 1.6 ± 0.2, P = 0.021); differences were not found with other symptoms (P ≥ 0.4). Long breaks were not associated with age, gender, race, reflux burden, symptom association, or changes in symptom metrics (P ≥ 0.1 for all comparisons). Among patients with cough, the presence of long breaks predicted suboptimal symptom improvement with antireflux therapy (P = 0.018); this difference did not hold true for other symptoms (P ≥ 0.2). Conclusions Long breaks in esophageal peristaltic integrity are associated with cough. The presence of long breaks is associated with suboptimal benefit from antireflux therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-394
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018


  • Cough
  • Esophageal motility disorders
  • Esophageal pH monitoring
  • Gastroesophageal reflux


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