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August 1990

Gastroesophageal Reflux as a Pathogenic Factor in the Development of Symptomatic Lower Esophageal Rings

Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(8):1669-1672. doi:10.1001/archinte.1990.00040031669014

Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) has been suggested as a cause of the lower esophageal (Schatzki) ring. We looked for the presence of GER and reflux injury in a series of 20 patients with lower esophageal ring and dysphagia, using a 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring and upper endoscopy with biopsy. Abnormal GER was documented in 13 of the patients (65%), 10 of whom had erosive reflux changes in the distal esophagus. Seven patients (35%) showed no evidence of pathologic GER or reflux esophagitis. All patients also underwent esophageal manometry. Nonspecific esophageal body motor dysfunction may have contributed to dysphagia in five patients, two of whom had no evidence of abnormal GER. We conclude that GER disease is a frequent cause of the gradually progressive ring stricturing and dysphagia seen in patients with lower esophageal ring. Antireflux therapy, as an adjunct to esophageal dilatation, may be appropriate for many symptomatic lower esophageal ring patients.

(Arch Intern Med. 1990;150:1669-16272)