What is an esophageal manometry test?
Esophageal manometry measures pressure within the esophagus. This test may also be referred to as an esophageal motility or function study. Your doctor may recommend this test to determine if a swallowing problem is due to improperly working muscles in your esophagus.
When you swallow, muscles in your esophagus normally contract and relax in rolling waves (peristalsis). This action propels food and liquids toward your stomach. Muscular valves (sphincters) at the top and bottom of your esophagus open to let food and liquids in. Then, they close to keep stomach acid from backing up into your esophagus. When these muscles don't work properly, you may have:
During esophageal manometry, a tiny, pressure-sensitive tube is inserted through your nose — or sometimes your mouth — and into your esophagus. There, it measures the effects of muscle contractions as you swallow. The test takes less than one hour.
Manometry may also be used to measure pressures in your stomach (gastric motility), small intestine (small intestine manometry) and rectum (anorectal function).
Last Updated: 03/21/2006
© 1998-2013 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.com," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
Terms and conditions of use