Center for Minimally Invasive Esophageal Therapies
Diseases & Conditions
Motility Disorders – Diagnostic Procedures
How are Motility Disorders Diagnosed?
There are several ways that physicians may detect a motility disorder, after doing a medical history and physical examination.
A barium swallow, also called a contrast esophagram, is a series of x-rays of your esophagus. You drink a barium-containing liquid, which coats the inside of the esophagus and makes its shape and contours appear on x-rays. The x-ray technologist may take a series of images.
The physician will spray a pain-killing solution in your throat and then examine the area using an endoscope, which is a thin, lighted tube with a tiny camera at the end. An ultrasound transducer may be added to the tip of the endoscope, to obtain high-quality images. The physician will be able to see any abnormalities and take a tissue sample (biopsy), if necessary. You may be given medication through a vein in your arm if you are having trouble relaxing.
This test measures esophageal motor patterns as well as the pressure inside your lower esophageal sphincter. Your physician will insert a thin, pressure-sensitive tube into your mouth or nose to your stomach. You will then be asked to swallow, and the muscular contractions in your esophagus will be recorded.