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Diffuse esophageal spasm (DES) causes chest pain and/or dysphagia in adults. We reviewed charts of 278 subjects 0 to 18 years of age after esophageal manometry to describe the frequency and characteristics of DES in children. Patient diagnoses included normal motility (61%), nonspecific esophageal motility disorder (20%), DES (13%, n=36), and achalasia (4%). Of patients with DES, the most common chief complaint was food refusal in subjects younger than 5 years (14/24, 58%) and chest pain in subjects older than 5 years (4/12, 33%). Comorbid medical conditions, often multiple, existed in 33 subjects. DES should be considered when young children present with food refusal.


John M Rosen, Teri Lavenbarg, Jose Cocjin, Paul E Hyman. Diffuse esophageal spasm in children referred for manometry. Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. 2013 Apr;56(4):436-8

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PMID: 23114472

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