Effects of Age on Esophageal Motility: A High-Resolution Manometry Study

Roupen Djinbachian, Etienne Marchand, Weixiang Yan, Mickael Bouin


Background: Studies have found possible physiologic changes to esophageal motility with aging currently not taken into account in routine high-resolution manometry (HRM) interpretation. We aimed to quantify the relationship between these physiologic changes and aging to improve HRM interpretation.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of patients who underwent HRM at a tertiary hospital center between 2015 and 2019. Inclusion criteria were patients aged >=18 years with normal HRM. Exclusion criteria were abnormal HRM, abnormal upper digestive endoscopy or imagery. Outcomes were median integrated relaxation pressure (IRP), lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure, distal contractal integral (DCI), distal latency (DL), and peristaltic break (PB) according to the v4.0 Chicago classification criteria. Effect of age was examined through univariate and multivariate linear regression analysis.

Results: We identified 1,917 patients with HRM and included 722 patients with normal exams (median age 56 years (interquartile range (IQR) 46 - 66), 63.8% female). Indications for HRM included dysphagia (39.6%), gastroesophageal reflux disease (29.5%), and chest pain (11.5%). There was statistically significant relationship between age and IRP (r = 0.20, P < 0.0001) as well as DCI (r = 0.12, P = 0.001) and DL (r = -0.09, P = 0.02). No statistically significant relationship was found between age and LES pressure or PB.

Conclusion: We found that IRP, DCI, and to a lesser extent, DL, are significantly correlated with the normal aging process in symptomatic patients. These findings should be taken into consideration when interpreting esophageal HRM.

J Clin Med Res. 2021;13(8):413-419
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jocmr4576


Manometry; Esophagus; Aging; Esophageal motility disorders

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