Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

George Triadafilopoulos

Publication Details

  • Esophageal manifestations of rheumatic disorders SEMINARS IN ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM Fitzgerald, R. C., Triadafilopoulos, G. 1997; 26 (4): 641-666


    This study was performed to review information on functional and anatomic esophageal manifestations in patients with rheumatic disorders and to outline their pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment in light of the current medical, endoscopic, and surgical advances. A MEDLINE search of English-language articles published between 1985 and 1995, reviews of the bibliographies of textbooks, and a manual search of the reference lists of relevant articles formed the data sources, all combined with our own clinical experience. Primary research and review articles addressing the pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and complications of esophageal disease occurring in a rheumatic context were selected, with emphasis on recently developed medical, endoscopic, and surgical methods for diagnosis and management. Study design and quality were assessed, with particular attention paid to methods and aims. Relevant data on frequency, clinical presentation, and relationship to underlying rheumatic disorder, prognosis, and clinical management were analyzed. Esophageal manifestations are common in patients with rheumatic diseases and range in nature and severity from functional myopathic or neuropathic esophageal dysmotility to extrinsic lumenal compression and esophageal mucosal damage from gastroesophageal acid reflux or opportunistic infection. The primary symptoms of heartburn, dysphagia, odynophagia, chest pain, and bleeding may be directly related to the underlying rheumatic disease or may be the unwanted effects of therapy with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, or disease-modifying agents. Easily over-looked in the context of a multisystemic disease, these esophageal symptoms may be amenable to simple treatments, but frequently require a thorough assessment by modern, sophisticated diagnostic tools. In many instances, functional and structural involvement of the esophagus in patients with rheumatic disorders requires a high index of suspicion for an early diagnosis, correct assessment, intensive surveillance, and aggressive therapy to avoid end-organ damage and decline in quality of life. Significant recent advances in the understanding of esophageal pathophysiology, the development of diagnostic techniques, progress in diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy, and minimally invasive surgery allow early detection and effective long-term therapy for esophageal dysfunction associated with rheumatic diseases.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997WK86500001

    View details for PubMedID 9062946

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