Background: Nutcracker esophagus (NE) is a well-described esophageal motility disorder often implicated as the cause of chest pain (CP). The aim of this study was to analyze the role of peristaltic amplitude, lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure, and 24 h pH scores in patient symptomatology. Methods: After obtaining Institutional Review Board approval, a retrospective review of manometric data from 1984 to 2008 at the esophageal center was done to identify patients meeting NE criteria (mean distal esophageal body amplitude of >180 mmHg). The data for patient's symptoms, manometric findings including the amplitude of the distal two esophageal body peristalses, LES pressure, and 24 h pH score were extracted and analyzed. Results: Out of 4,923 patients, 313 (6.4%) patients met the manometric criteria for NE, and of these, 298 patients had complete manometry data along with at least 1 reported symptom. CP was associated with LES competence, with a significantly higher percentage of patients with high LES pressure complaining of CP (p <0.05). There was no relationship of with the mean amplitude of esophageal body pressure (p > 0.05) or with distal esophageal acid exposure (p > 0.05). Conclusions: CP is a commonly reported symptom in patients with manometry findings of NE. However, CP is related to LES competence rather than the amplitude of the esophageal body waves or 24 h pH monitoring scores.
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