It has been suggested that low-frequency transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) alleviates the dysphagia produced by achalasia and scleroderma of the esophagus. The present study was conducted to elucidate whether TENS treatment improves dysphagia because of changes it induces on esophageal motility. We studied nine achalasia patients before forceful dilatation of the cardias, nine achalasia patients after dilatation, and nine patients with scleroderma. High-frequency TENS was applied to the hand for 30min while esophageal motility was monitored by manometry. In none of the groups did TENS produce any change in the basal tone of the lower esophageal sphincter, lower esophageal sphincter relaxation, or esophageal body wave amplitude. Low-frequency TENS, used in another seven untreated achalasia patients, also did not improve esophageal motility. Our data indicate that high- or low-frequency TENS does not induce detectable changes in esophageal motility in patients with achalasia or scleroderma. © 1990 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted.
- Esophageal manometry
- Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation