• esophageal function;
  • impedance;
  • manometry;
  • solid


The purpose of this study is to apply combined multichannel intraluminal impedance and esophageal manometry (MII-EM) to test esophageal function during solid swallowing in a normal healthy population. We determined whether combined MII-EM with solid bolus is more sensitive than that with viscous bolus in the detection of motility abnormality. Eighteen healthy volunteers (11 men and 7 women; mean age 22 years, range 20–26 years) underwent combined MII-EM with a catheter containing four impedance-measuring segments and five solid-state pressure transducers. Each subject received 10 viscous and 10 solid materials. Tracings were analyzed manually for bolus presence time, total bolus transit time, contraction amplitude, duration, and onset velocity. Three hundred and sixty swallows including viscous and solid materials were analyzed. Contraction amplitude for the viscous swallows was higher at 20 cm above the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) (P= 0.049) but lower at 15 cm above the LES (P < 0.001). Duration of contractions for the solid swallows was longer at 15 cm (P= 0.002) and 10 cm above the LES (P= 0.011) compared with viscous swallows. The total bolus transit time for solid was significantly shorter than that for viscous boluses (6.8 vs. 7.7 seconds, P < 0.001). Bolus presence time appeared to be similar between viscous and solid boluses (except in the proximal esophagus). The percentage of swallows with ineffective peristalsis by manometry, as well as those with incomplete bolus transit by impedance, did not differ between viscous and solid swallows. The proportion of manometrically ineffective solid swallows with incomplete bolus transit was greater than that of viscous swallows (62.1% vs. 34.8%, P= 0.05). Application of solid boluses may potentially enhance diagnostic capability of esophageal function testing. Solid boluses can be regarded as a valuable complement to viscous boluses in the detection of esophageal motility abnormalities when applied with combined MII-EM.