Jackhammer esophagus: Observations on a European cohort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


With the advent of high-resolution manometry (HRM), a new diagnosis, jackhammer esophagus, was introduced. Little is known about this rare condition, and the relationship between symptoms and hypercontractility is not always straightforward. The aim of our study was to describe a large cohort of patients with jackhammer esophagus and to investigate whether manometric findings are associated with the presence of symptoms. All patients from 06, 2014 until 12, 2015 seen at two tertiary centers with at least one hypercontractile swallow (distal contractile integral [DCI] >8000 mm Hg/s/cm) on HRM were analyzed. Patients with ≥20% premature swallows, or patients with another diagnosis explaining their symptoms were excluded. Of the 34 patients identified with jackhammer esophagus, most suffered from dysphagia (67.6%) and/or chest pain (47.1%). The symptom chest pain was not associated with any of the manometric findings, whereas dysphagia was associated with the DCI of the hypercontractile swallows and with intrabolus pressure. In addition, all patients who had an isolated DCI of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) zone >2000 mm Hg/s/cm had dysphagia. The differences in HRM and clinical characteristics between subgroups based on the contraction type (single- or multi-peaked) or based on meeting criteria of the Chicago Classification v3.0 and v2.0 were limited. The symptom dysphagia is accompanied with strong contractions of the LES, signs of a possible outflow obstruction, and a very high DCI. The presence of a multipeaked contraction seems to be of limited relevance, and caution is warranted in labeling patients with one hypercontractile swallow as normal
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)UNSP e12975
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number4
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Cite this