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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 2019, Article ID 5036160, 7 pages
Research Article

Jackhammer Esophagus: From Manometric Diagnosis to Clinical Presentation

Division of Gastroenterology, Gastro-Intestinal Motility Center, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM), Montreal, QC, Canada

Correspondence should be addressed to Marianne Clément; ac.laertnomu@tnemelc.ennairam

Received 9 October 2018; Revised 18 January 2019; Accepted 4 February 2019; Published 3 March 2019

Academic Editor: Toshio Uraoka

Copyright © 2019 Marianne Clément et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Jackhammer esophagus is a hypercontractile esophageal disorder recently brought to light with the advent of high resolution manometry (HRM). As little is known about its clinical presentation, the aim of this study was to identify the clinical characteristics associated with this new gastrointestinal motility disorder. Methods. A retrospective study was conducted on patients visiting the CHUM’s Gastro-Intestinal Motility Center from January 2015 to December 2017. The HRM diagnoses were collated in a database along with age and sex of every individual. The latest Chicago classification (version 3.0) was used. Among all the patients subjected to HRM, those diagnosed with Jackhammer esophagus were included in the study. Patient charts were reviewed to collect relevant demographic and clinical data. Key Results. A total of 36 patients with Jackhammer esophagus were included (62 13 years age, 89% females). Their main symptoms were dysphagia (72%), pyrosis (42%), retrosternal chest pain (36%), and epigastralgia (33%). Other manometric findings were hypertonia (22%) and/or inadequate relaxation (19%) of the lower esophageal sphincter. Among the 26 patients who had esogastroduodenoscopy, hiatal hernia was seen in 3 patients. Pathological gastroesophageal reflux was found in 4 of the 10 patients investigated by pH-monitoring. Conclusions and Inferences. Jackhammer esophagus represents 3% of the HRM diagnoses in this study, with a significant female preponderance. In more than two-thirds of cases, the clinical presentation of Jackhammer esophagus is dysphagia.