Schatzkis ring (esophagus)

Abdomen | Gastroenterology | Schatzkis ring (esophagus) (Disease)


A Schatzki ring or Schatzki-Gary ring is a narrowing of the lower part of the esophagus that can cause difficulty swallowing.

Solid food dysphagia (difficulty swallowing solid food) most often occurs with rings less than 13 mm in diameter. The dysphagia is usually intermittent and is not progressive. Large, poorly digested food such as steak are most likely to cause problems. Drinking extra liquids or regurgitation may relieve the obstruction.

Causes and Risk factors

The narrowing is caused by a ring of mucosal tissue (which lines the esophagus) or muscular tissue. Most are over 20 millimeters in diameter and are asymptomatic.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Lower esophageal rings may be diagnosed clinically and confirmed by barium swallow (a radiological study to assess swallowing) and upper endoscopy (using a tube to enter the mouth in order to view the esophagus and stomach). The majority of symptomatic patients can be treated permanently with the passage of large (17 to 20 millimeter) dilators, which disrupt the mucosal ring. Single dilations of symptomatic lower esophageal rings are safe, easily performed, and well tolerated. Recurrences can be successfully treated by repeated dilations. Treatment of an esophageal stricture may include acid blocker medications and esophageal dilation procedures. ...

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