J Neurogastroenterol Motil.  2020 Oct;26(4):477-485. 10.5056/jnm19148.

Esophageal Involvement and Determinants of Perception of Esophageal Symptoms Among South Koreans With Systemic Sclerosis

  • 1Institute for Digestive Research, Digestive Disease Center, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Rheumatology, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
  • 4Division of Gastroenterology, Cheonan Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Chungcheongnam-do, Korea


Our study aims to characterize esophageal motor function; evaluate the relationships among esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), high-resolution manometry (HRM), and 24-hour esophageal multichannel intraluminal impedance monitoring combined with pHmetry (MII-pH); and elucidate the determinants of esophageal symptom perception in South Koreans with systemic sclerosis (SSc).
We reviewed prospectively collected HRM (n = 46), EGD (n = 41), and MII-pH (n = 37) data from 46 consecutive patients with SSc (42 females; mean age 50.1 years) who underwent esophageal tests between June 2013 and September 2018.
The most common HRM diagnosis was normal (39.1%), followed by ineffective esophageal motility (23.9%) and absent contractility (21.7%). Erosive esophagitis was observed in 12.2% of total SSc patients, with a higher frequency in patients with absent contractility than those with normal motility (44.5% vs 0.0%, P = 0.01). Pathologic acid exposure was observed in 6 patients (20.0%) and positive symptom association in 18 patients (60.0%) in MII-pH tests of symptomatic patients. The proportion of SSc patients with esophageal symptoms not explained by reflux or mucosal or motor esophageal abnormalities was 33.0%.
Esophageal involvement among South Koreans with SSc was characterized by heterogeneous motility patterns, with a higher prevalence of normal motility and lower prevalence of erosive esophagitis. Reflux hypersensitivity or functional heartburn might be partly attributed to the perception of esophageal symptoms in SSc patients who have neither gastroesophageal reflux disease nor esophageal dysmotility.


Diagnosis; Esophageal motility disorders; Esophagus; Manometry; Scleroderma
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