Esophageal Dysmotility is Common in Patients With Multiple System Atrophy

Rumi Ueha, Taku Sato, Takao Goto, Akihito Yamauchi, Nogah Nativ-Zeltzer, Jun Mitsui, Peter C. Belafsky, Tatsuya Yamasoba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Esophageal dysmotility (ED) in patients with multiple system atrophy (MSA) are poorly understood. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of ED in patients with MSA and to assess the relationship of esophageal abnormalities with other clinical findings and characteristics in these patients. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted to identify patients with MSA and to compare them to the elderly controls without MSA (65+ years) who underwent a videofluorographic esophagram from 2014 to 2019. Disease type, disease severity, vocal fold mobility impairment, abnormal deglutitive proximal esophageal contraction (ADPEC), and intra-esophageal stasis (IES) were reviewed and compared between groups. Results: Thirty-seven patients with MSA were identified. The median age was 63 and 26 (70%) were male. These patients were matched to 22 elderly adults with presbylarynx but not MSA (median age 77, 68% male). In MSA patients, cerebellar variant type was predominant (59%), and ADPEC was recognized in 18 patients (49%). Disease severity level (P = 0.028) and existence of IES (P = 0.046) were associated with higher risks of developing ADPEC. The prevalence of IES was significantly higher in patients with MSA (95%) compared to controls without MSA (46%) (P < 0.001). Disease severity level and the existence of IES were significantly associated with the presence of ADPEC (p < 0.05). Conclusion: ADPEC and IES were significantly more common in MSA than in elderly subjects without MSA. MSA severity is associated with the development of ADPEC. The data suggest that esophageal motility is predominantly affected in MSA. Level of Evidence: 3 Laryngoscope, 2020.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • abnormal deglutitive proximal esophageal contraction
  • esophageal dysmotility
  • high-resolution manofluorography
  • intraesophageal stasis
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • videofluoroscopic esophagram

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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