Objective: We sought to determine the utility of esophageal manometry in an older patient population. Methods: Consecutively performed manometry studies (470) were reviewed and two groups were chosen for the study, those ≥ 75 yr of age (66 patients) and those ≤ 50 years (122 patients). Symptoms, manometric findings (lower esophageal sphincter [LES], esophageal body, upper esophageal sphincter [UES]) and diagnoses were compared between the groups. Results: Dysphagia was more common (60.6% vs 25.4%), and chest pain was less common (17.9 vs 26.2%) in older patients. In the entire group, there were no differences in LES parameters. Older patients with achalasia had lower LES residual pressures after deglutition (2.7 vs 12.0 mm Hg), but had similar resting pressures (31.4 vs 35.2 mm Hg) compared with younger achalasia patients. Duration and amplitude of peristalsis were similar in both groups, whereas peristaltic sequences were more likely to be simultaneous in the older group (15% vs 4%). The UES had a lower resting pressure in the older patients (49.6 vs 77.6 mm Hg) and a higher residual pressure (2.0 vs -2.7 mm Hg). The older patients were less likely to have normal motility (30.3% vs 44.3%) and were more likely to have achalasia (15.2% vs 4.1%) or diffuse esophageal spasm (16.6% vs 5.0%). When only patients with dysphagia were analyzed, achalasia was still more likely in the older group (20.0% vs 12.9%). Conclusion: When older patients present with dysphagia, esophageal manometry frequently yields a diagnosis to help explain their symptoms.
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