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

Aretuza Zaupa Gasparim El Gharib, Roberto Oliveira Dantas

Abstract


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
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/gr1458

Keywords


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

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