Background: Although stationary manometry commonly reveals esophageal body motility disorders in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), esophageal function cannot be fully and precisely assessed during normal daily activities by this investigatory modality. Aim: To compare the results of 24-hour ambulatory manometry with those of stationary manometry and to determine the specificity and accuracy of the former to detect motility disorders in patients with GERD. Patients and Methods: 15 patients with documented GERD were included in the study. Clinical assessment, upper alimentary endoscopy and stationary manometry as well as 24-hour ambulatory manometry with concomitant 24-hour monitoring of the esophageal pH were performed in each patient. Results: 24-hour ambulatory manometry revealed a significant number of dropped or interrupted esophageal contractions in patients who were found to have only complete peristalsis on stationary manometry. Furthermore, in certain patients, ambulatory manometry detected an increased incidence of dropped or interrupted contractions as compared to those recorded during stationary manometry. Ineffective contractions, suggestive of poor esophageal motility, although absent on stationary manometry, were detected in a large number of patients during a 24-hour period of recording. Also, the amplitude of esophageal contractions was clearly overestimated when evaluated by stationary manometry. Conclusions: 24-hour ambulatory esophageal manometry reveals esophageal motor abnormalities to a greater extent than those demonstrated at stationary manometry, in patients with GERD. This might be of significance in designing the treatment and predicting possible outcome.

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