Clinical correlates of abnormal sensitivity to intraesophageal balloon distension

Ray E. Clouse, Gregory S. McCord, Patrick J. Lustman, Steven A. Edmundowicz

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37 Scopus citations


Sixty-five patients with esophageal complaints were studied to determine clinical associations with abnormal sensitivity to intraesophageal balloon distension (esophageal sensory dysfunction). Associations were examined in four categories: motility, esophageal symptoms, recent psychological symptoms, and general clinical features. A positive response to balloon distension (pain with ≤8 ml volume) was found in 29 (45%) of the subjects. This response was associated with specific findings in each category except recent psychological symptoms. A multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that an increased frequency of multipeaked waves on motility testing, presence of dysphagia, and shorter height of the subject each had an independent association with positive response to balloon distension (P≤0.05 for each). Further comparison of subjects with sensory dysfunction, motor dysfunction, or both (sensorimotor dysfunction) indicated that subjects with the combined disorder appeared more symptomatic than those with either finding alone. These observations indicate that: (1) esophageal motor and sensory dysfunction are partially associated, but both contribute to the symptomatic state; (2) dysphagia may be representative of sensory dysfunction in some cases; and (3) subject height should be taken into consideration when interpreting balloon distension results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1040-1045
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1991


  • chest pain
  • dysphagia
  • esophageal motility


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