Cross-Sectional Study of Swallowing Phases in Cases of Megaesophagus Caused by Chagas Disease

Aretuza Zaupa Gasparim El Gharib, Roberto Oliveira Dantas


Background: Chagas disease, caused by the flagellate protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, is an infectious cause of secondary achalasia and megaesophagus. Moreover, the oral and pharyngeal phases of swallowing may also be affected, which may contribute to dysphagia and increase the possibility of airway aspiration during and/or after swallowing. This cross-sectional study evaluated, with videofluoroscopy, the oral, pharyngeal, and esophageal phases of swallowing in patients with megaesophagus caused by Chagas disease. The hypothesis is that there is impairment of the pharyngeal phase of swallowing that may increase the risk of airway aspiration.

Methods: A total of 29 patients, aged 48 - 73 years (mean: 63.8 5.1 years), with dysphagia, radiological changes in the esophagus, and positive serologic test for Chagas disease, participated in the study. They were submitted to the videofluoroscopic evaluation of oral, pharyngeal, and esophageal phases, swallowing twice 10 mL of liquid and 10 mL of thickened barium boluses.

Results: The most frequent findings were: oral residues and ineffective ejection in the oral phase; residues in vallecula, pharynx, and pyriform sinuses in the pharyngeal phase; abnormal esophageal motility, longer clearance, and longer transit in the esophageal phase. Laryngeal penetration was seen in 28% of the patients. Patients with increased esophageal diameter had more pharyngeal residues than patients without increased esophageal diameter. None of the patients had airway aspiration.

Conclusion: Megaesophagus caused by Chagas disease may affect all phases of swallowing, with an increase in oral and pharyngeal residues which suggest the impairment of oral and pharyngeal efficiency. None of the patients had airway aspiration.

Gastroenterol Res. 2021;14(5):290-295


Chagas disease; Esophageal achalasia; Deglutition disorders; Esophageal diseases; Trypanosomiasis

Full Text: HTML PDF

Browse  Journals  


Journal of Clinical Medicine Research

Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics


World Journal of Oncology

Gastroenterology Research

Journal of Hematology


Journal of Medical Cases

Journal of Current Surgery

Clinical Infection and Immunity


Cardiology Research

World Journal of Nephrology and Urology

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research


Journal of Neurology Research

International Journal of Clinical Pediatrics



Gastroenterology Research, bimonthly, ISSN 1918-2805 (print), 1918-2813 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
The content of this site is intended for health care professionals.

This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons Attribution license (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International CC-BY-NC 4.0)

This journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals,
the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

website:   editorial contact:
Address: 9225 Leslie Street, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3H6, Canada

© Elmer Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the published articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors and Elmer Press Inc. This website is provided for medical research and informational purposes only and does not constitute any medical advice or professional services. The information provided in this journal should not be used for diagnosis and treatment, those seeking medical advice should always consult with a licensed physician.