Loss of secondary esophageal peristalsis is not a contributory pathogenetic factor in posterior laryngitis

S. O. Ulualp, C. Gu, R. J. Toohill, R. Shaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Secondary esophageal peristalsis helps prevent the entry of gastric acid into the pharynx by clearing the refluxed gastric contents back into the stomach. Because the loss of this mechanism may contribute to the pathogenesis of reflux-induced laryngeal disorders, our aim was to study the frequency of stimulation and parameters of secondary esophageal peristalsis in patients with posterior laryngitis (PL). We studied 14 patients (45 ± 5 years) with PL documented by videolaryngoscopy and 11 healthy controls (46 ± 6 years). The upper esophageal sphincter (UES) pressure was monitored by a sleeve assembly incorporating an injection port 5 cm distal to the sleeve. The esophageal body and lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressures were measured by an LES sleeve assembly. Primary esophageal peristalsis was induced by 5-mL water swallows. Secondary esophageal peristalsis wag induced by abrupt injection of volumes of air, incrementally increased by 5 mL, into the esophagus. Secondary esophageal peristalsis could not be elicited by injection of any volume (up to 60 mL) in 3 PL patients and 2 controls. These 5 subjects had normal primary peristalsis. The threshold volume of air required to stimulate secondary esophageal peristalsis in PL patients (median, 15 mL) was similar to that of controls (median, 10 mL). The parameters of the secondary esophageal peristaltic pressure wave were similar in both groups, and in both groups, they were similar to those of primary peristalsis. The UES response to the injection of the threshold volume that induced secondary esophageal peristalsis in PL patients was contraction in 58% of the trials, partial relaxation in 3%, and no response in 39%. The findings were similar to those in the controls. The LES response to injection of the threshold volume was complete relaxation in both the PL patients and the controls. We conclude that the integrity of secondary esophageal peristalsis is preserved in PL patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-157
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2001


  • Esophagus
  • Gastroesophageal acid reflux
  • Peristalsis
  • Posterior laryngitis
  • Sphincter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


Dive into the research topics of 'Loss of secondary esophageal peristalsis is not a contributory pathogenetic factor in posterior laryngitis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this