The current opinion is that the esophagus is shorter in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and in those with complicated Barrett's esophagus. However, objective evidence for this is scarce.
In this study, researchers determined the occurrence and magnitude of this phenomenon among their patients.
Their results are published in the April issue of Surgery.
|Differences in esophageal length were not found to be significant.|
The team assessed 190 control subjects, 77 patients with severe erosive esophagitis, 74 with Barrett's esophagus, and 29 with complicated Barrett's esophagus.
Patients were grouped according to height.
The researchers determined the length of the esophagus using standard manometric study. They measured the distance from the crycopharingeal sphincter to the distal limit of the lower esophageal sphincter.
The esophageal length according to height was 1 to 2 cm shorter in patients compared to controls, but these differences were not significant.
Dr Owen Korn's team concluded, "No differences were found between patients with progressive severity of the disease".
"So-called “short esophagus” does not exist or is not relevant in our patients with GERD, including those with complicated Barrett's esophagus".