The effect of sildenafil on segmental oesophageal motility and gastro-oesophageal reflux


Dr H. Park, Department of Internal Medicine, Yongdong Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Yongdong, PO Box 1217, Seoul 135–271, Korea.


Background  Sildenafil is an inhibitor of type 5 phosphodiesterase. It relaxes or inhibits contraction of smooth muscle by increasing cellular concentrations of cyclic guanosine monophosphate. Multichannel intraluminal impedance manometry/pH allow the precise evaluation of oesophageal bolus transit and acid/non-acid reflux.

Aim  To investigate the effect of sildenafil on segmental oesophageal motor function and gastro-oesophageal reflux.

Methods  Eight healthy volunteers underwent multichannel intraluminal impedance manometry baseline, and 15, 30 and 45 min before and after a 50-mg dose of sildenafil successively. The subjects underwent 2-h multichannel intraluminal impedance/pH studies on two separate days after either water or sildenafil ingestion.

Results  Sildenafil decreased the resting lower oesophageal sphincter pressure and prolonged the duration of lower oesophageal sphincter relaxation for the 45 min following its ingestion. At 15 min, distal onset velocity, total bolus transit time, bolus presence time and segmental transit time were delayed in the mid to distal oesophagus. At 30 min, distal onset velocity was restored but bolus presence time and bolus presence time were still delayed in distal smooth muscle segment. At 45 min, total bolus transit time and distal onset velocity were restored but bolus presence time and segmental transit time were delayed more in the transition zone. Sildenafil did not alter the reflux.

Conclusion  Sildenafil alters lower oesophageal sphincter function and oesophageal bolus transit, but not induce gastro-oesophageal reflux.