What tests are used to diagnose achalasia?

Lyall A. Gorenstein, MD
Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular)
Tests for achalasia include esophageal manometry, barium swallow, and upper endoscopy. Manometry involves inserting a thin tube with a sensitive probe through the nose, into the throat and esophagus. The patient is asked to swallow several times. Muscle contractions in the smooth muscle of the esophagus are analyzed at several points as the tube is slowly pulled back through the esophagus. A barium contrast X-ray (barium swallowIn an upper GI series, or a barium swallow, also called barium contrast X-ray, the patient swallows a solution of barium, a compound that will appear inside the body during X-ray so the physician may observe how fluid moves through the esophagus as well as the appearance of the stomach.). An endoscopy of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (esophagogastroduodenoscopyIn esophagoscopy/endoscopy of the esophagus, a thin, flexible tube with a camera is inserted through the mouth into the esophagus, allowing the physician to view the interior of the esophagus and obtain small tissue samples for biopsy, if necessary. or EGD) may be performed in order to rule out the possibility of cancer.

Continue Learning about Digestive Diseases

Digestive Diseases

Digestive diseases, also known as gastrointestinal diseases, are disorders that affect your esophagus, stomach and small and large intestines. The symptoms of digestive diseases vary widely depending on which part of your digestiv...

e system is affected. Generally symptoms can be blood in your stool, a change in bowel habits, pain, weight loss or heartburn that is not relieved by antacids. See you doctor if you have any of these signs of digestive disease.

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