Elevated intrabolus pressure identifies obstructive processes when integrated relaxation pressure is normal on esophageal high-resolution manometry

Farhan Quader, Chanakyaram Reddy, Amit Patel, C. Prakash Gyawali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Elevated integrated relaxation pressure (IRP) on esophageal high-resolution manometry (HRM) identifies obstructive processes at the esophagogastric junction (EGJ). Our aim was to determine whether intrabolus pressure (IBP) can identify structural EGJ processes when IRP is normal. In this observational cohort study, adult patients with dysphagia and undergoing HRM were evaluated for endoscopic evidence of structural EGJ processes (strictures, rings, hiatus hernia) in the setting of normal IRP. HRM metrics [IRP, distal contractile integral (DCI), distal latency (DL), IBP, and EGJ contractile integral (EGJ-CI)] were compared among 74 patients with structural EGJ findings (62.8 ± 1.6 yr, 67.6% women), 27 patients with normal EGD (52.9 ± 3.2 yr, 70.3% women), and 21 healthy controls (27.6 ± 0.6 yr, 52.4% women). Findings were validated in 85 consecutive symptomatic patients to address clinical utility. In the primary cohort, mean IBP (18.4 ± 0.9 mmHg) was higher with structural EGJ findings compared with dysphagia with normal EGD (13.5 ± 1.1 mmHg, P = 0.002) and healthy controls (10.9 ± 0.9 mmHg, P < 0.001). However, mean IRP, DCI, DL, and EGJ-CI were similar across groups (P > 0.05 for each comparison). During multiple rapid swallows, IBP remained higher in the structural findings group compared with controls (P = 0.02). Similar analysis of the prospective validation cohort confirmed IBP elevation in structural EGJ processes, but correlation with dysphagia could not be demonstrated. We conclude that elevated IBP predicts the presence of structural EGJ processes even when IRP is normal, but correlation with dysphagia is suboptimal. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Integrated relaxation pressure (IRP) above the upper limit of normal defines esophageal outflow obstruction using high-resolution manometry. In patients with normal IRP, elevated intrabolus pressure (IBP) can be a surrogate marker for a structural restrictive or obstructive process at the esophagogastric junction (EGJ). This has the potential to augment the clinical value of esophageal HRM by raising suspicion for a structural EGJ process when IBP is elevated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G73-G79
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Dysphagia
  • Esophagogastric junction
  • High-resolution manometry
  • Integrated relaxation pressure
  • Intrabolus pressure


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