Comparing Patients Diagnosed With Ineffective Esophageal Motility by the Chicago Classification Version 3.0 and Version 4.0 Criteria

Alyssa W. Tuan, Nauroz Syed, Ronaldo P. Panganiban, Roland Y. Lee, Shannon Dalessio, Sandeep Pradhan, Junjia Zhu, Ann Ouyang


Background: The Chicago Classification version 4.0 (CCv4.0) of ineffective esophageal motility (IEM) is more stringent than the Chicago Classification version 3.0 (CCv3.0) definition. We aimed to compare the clinical and manometric features of patients meeting CCv4.0 IEM criteria (group 1) versus patients meeting CCv3.0 IEM but not CCv4.0 criteria (group 2).

Methods: We collected retrospective clinical, manometric, endoscopic, and radiographic data on 174 adults diagnosed with IEM from 2011 to 2019. Complete bolus clearance was defined as evidence of exit of the bolus by impedance measurement at all distal recording sites. Barium studies included barium swallow, modified barium swallow, and barium upper gastrointestinal series studies, and collected data from these reports include abnormal motility and delay in the passage of liquid barium or barium tablet. These data along with other clinical and manometric data were analyzed using comparison and correlation tests. All records were reviewed for repeated studies and the stability of the manometric diagnoses.

Results: Most demographic and clinical variables were not different between the groups. A lower mean lower esophageal sphincter pressure was correlated with greater percent of ineffective swallows in group 1 (n = 128) (r = -0.2495, P = 0.0050) and not in group 2. In group 1, increased percent of failed contractions on manometry was associated with increased incomplete bolus clearance (r = 0.3689, P = 0.0001). No such association was observed in group 2. A lower median integrated relaxation pressure was correlated with greater percent of ineffective contractions in group 1 (r = -0.1825, P = 0.0407) and not group 2. Symptom of dysphagia was more prevalent (51.6% versus 69.6%, P = 0.0347) in group 2. Dysphagia was not associated with intrabolus pressure, bolus clearance, barium delay, or weak or failed contractions in either group. In the small number of subjects with repeated studies, a CCv4.0 diagnosis appeared more stable over time.

Conclusions: CCv4.0 IEM was associated with worse esophageal function indicated by reduced bolus clearance. Most other features studied did not differ. Symptom presentation cannot predict if patients are likely to have IEM by CCv4.0. Dysphagia was not associated with worse motility, suggesting it may not be primarily dependent on bolus transit.

Gastroenterol Res. 2023;16(1):37-49


Chicago Classification v4.0; Chicago Classification v3.0; Deglutition disorders; Esophageal diseases; Esophageal motility disorders

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