David E. Milov, Harry A. Cynamon, Joel M. Andres

Chest Pain and Dysphagia in Adolescents Caused by Diffuse Esophageal Spasm

  • Gastroenterology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

Five adolescents, 13–18 years of age, underwent esophageal manometric studies because of chronic symptoms suggestive of esophageal dysfunction. Four of five patients had episodic nonexertional midchest pain; two patients experienced intermittent dysphagia. The manometric findings for these adolescents were consistent with a primary motility disorder known as diffuse esophageal spasm, a condition not previously reported in this age group. This represents approximately 1% of all pediatric patients undergoing esophageal manometry at our institution for the past 5 years. They have been followed for at least 2 years and three have experienced gradual resolution of their symptoms with normalization of manometric findings. Our report emphasizes two main points: (a) Diffuse esophageal spasm may cause chest pain and dysphagia in adolescents; and (b) the clinical history and esophageal manometric findings establish the diagnosis of diffuse esophageal spasm.

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