Wednesday, January 21, 2009


This is a classic picture of a barium study in a patient presenting with trouble swallowing solids and liquids and difficulty belching.

Challenge: The diagnosis is easy. What is it? What does the word mean in Greek?

Image shown under fair use.


CodeDog said...

You can see the contracted lower esophageal sphincter and the dilated lower 1/3 of the esophagus filled with material.

Symptoms are similar to GURD but the barium swallow test shows that is not the cause in this case.

Manometry can confirm Achalasia.
Elevated pressure in the esophagus is the definitive test for Achalasia.

shabnam said...

Achalasia cardiae...achalasia is greek for 'does not relax'
Caused due to failure of the lower esophageal sphincter to relax.The barium study shows a 'bird's beak' appearance

Alex said...


deardoc said...


greek "a-", failure or absence + "chalasis", relaxation

Craig Chen said...

The next case is harder!

This is achalasia, Greek for "does not relax." Loss of peristalsis in the distal esophagus and failure of LES relaxation give rise to the classic "bird beak" appearance of the barium swallow.

Source: UpToDate.