• A patient with dysphagia and chest pain was shown by manometry to have high-amplitude peristaltic esophageal contractions (nutcracker esophagus). Worsening symptoms over the next two years led to the performance of repeated manometric studies, which showed diffuse esophageal spasm. This demonstration of a transition from nutcracker esophagus to diffuse esophageal spasm lends further support for consideration of the nutcracker esophagus as a manometric disorder associated with chest pain or dysphagia. Furthermore, it suggests a pathophysiologic relationship between the nutcracker esophagus, a disorder with preserved peristalsis, and diffuse esophageal spasm, the classic dysmotility considered to be of neurogenic origin.
(Arch Intern Med 1986;146:1844-1846)