Objective: The aim of this study was to characterize the clinical and motility findings in 62 patients with systemic sclerosis or related disorders referred for evaluation of upper gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Methods: Methods included retrospective clinical record review and quantitation of esophageal, LES antral, and duodenal motility (3 h fasting, 2 h fed) were compared with results of 10 symptomatic patients with normal gastric emptying. Results: A total of 46 patients had systemic sclerosis, eight mixed connective tissue disease, and eight polymyositis-systemic sclerosis overlap; systemic manifestations were almost invariably present. GI symptoms were: heartburn (77%), nausea/vomiting (58%), dysphagia (61%), diarrhea (53%), constipation (31%), and fecal incontinence (13%). Anatomical studies showed esophageal erosions or GERD (53%), aperistalsis (34%), stricture (29%), and Barrett's metaplasia (16%); megaduodenum, small bowel dilation, or diverticulae (42%); and pneumatosis intestinalis (8%). A total of 36 patients underwent esophageal and 26 esophagogastrointestinal manometry. Postprandial antral motility index was abnormal in 22 of 26; amplitudes and frequency in the antrum (34 ± 3 mm Hg and 0.6 ± 0.1/min, respectively) and duodenum (7.3 ± 0.9 mm Hg and 1.8 ± 0.5/min) were significantly lower than controls (p < 0.05). Conclusion: In patients with GI symptoms associated with systemic sclerosis and related disorders, the amplitude and frequency of intestinal contractions are typically < 10 mm Hg and <2/min. Antral amplitude is low (<40 mm Hg) when antral hypomotility is observed.
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