Esophageal hypertensive peristaltic disorders


Address for Correspondence
Sabine Roman MD, PhD, Digestive Physiology, Hôpital E Herriot, Pavillon H, 5 place d’Arsonval, 69437 Lyon Cedex 03, France.
Tel: +33 4 72 11 01 36; fax: +33 4 72 11 01 46; e-mail:


Background  Esophageal motility abnormalities include a series of manometric findings that differ to a significant degree from findings in normal, asymptomatic volunteers.

Methods  Current review summarizes conventional and high-resolution esophageal manometry criteria used to define and characterize esophageal hypertensive motility abnormalities.

Key Results  In the conventional esophageal manometry classification scheme hypertensive esophageal motility abnormalities include nutcracker esophagus (average distal contraction amplitude >180mmHg), hypertensive lower esophageal sphincter (average resting LES pressure >45mmHg) and poorly relaxing lower esophageal sphincter (average LES residual pressure >8mmHg). The new, high resolution esophageal manometry scheme includes in the group of hypertensive peristaltic disorders hypertensive peristalsis (“nutcracker esophagus”: mean DCI >5000 mmHg*sec*cm) and hypercontractile esophagus (“jackhammer esophagus”: at least one contraction with DCI > 8,000 mmHg*sec*cm) and defines a separate group for disorders with impaired esophageal-gastric junction relaxation (mean integrated residual (LES) pressure >15mmHg).

Conclusions & Inferences  Hypertensive motility disorders represent a heterogeneous condition subdivided into hypercontractile esophagus and hypertensive peristalsis. Further studies are required to determine the clinical relevance of this new classification.