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Diffuse Esophageal Spasm

Overview :

The esophagus is a muscular tube that actively transports food from the throat to the stomach by rhythmic contractions known as peristalsis. The actual mechanism and anatomy are quite complex, involving three distinct segments and allowing a person to swallow even when upside-down. Diffuse esophageal spasm describes a condition where the entire esophagus is spastic—along its entire length, the muscular activity is increased and uncoordinated. The name corkscrew esophagus describes perfectly the appearance of this disorder on x rays.

X rays may reveal a slightly different appearance and result in the designation rosary bead esophagus, but the cause is still diffuse spasm, and the two entities behave in the same way.

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