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October 1969

Diagnosis and Treatment of Diffuse Esophageal Spasm

Author Affiliations

San Francisco
From Franklin Hospital, San Francisco, Calif. Dr. Desai is now at Majaraja Sayajirao University, Baroda, India. Dr. Desai is a former fellow in gastroenterology, Franklin Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1969;99(4):435-440. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340160015004

Diffuse esophageal spasm is a motility disturbance which involves the entire esophagus. It was first defined by Osgood1 in 1889, and the clinical and radiological features were excellently described by Moersch and Camp2 in 1934. However, it received little clinical recognition until definitive esophageal motility studies were performed in 1958 by Creamer et al,3 Code et al,4 Ingelfinger,5 and in 1960 by Olsen et al6. Nevertheless, at the present time there appears to be a lack of general recognition of this condition. There seems to be confusion over the significance of the x-ray appearance and there is little agreement about treatment.

Clinical Features  Age and Sex.—There is no predilection for sex or age. Craddox et al7 reported on 12 patients, six men and six women; their ages ranged from 44 to 69 years. Gillies et al8 reported on 21 patients, 11