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Lower esophageal ring

Esophagogastric ring; Schatzki's ring; Dysphagia - esophageal ring; Swallowing problems - esophageal ring 

 

A lower esophageal ring is an abnormal ring of tissue that forms where the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach) and stomach meet.

Causes

 

A lower esophageal ring is a birth defect of the esophagus that occurs in a small number of people. It causes narrowing of the lower esophagus.

Narrowing of the esophagus may also be caused by:

  • Injury
  • Tumors
  • Esophageal stricture

 

Symptoms

 

For most people, lower esophageal ring does not cause symptoms.

The most common symptom is the feeling that food (especially solid food) is stuck in the lower neck or under the breastbone (sternum).

 

Exams and Tests

 

Tests that show the lower esophageal ring include:

  • EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy)
  • Upper GI (x-ray with barium)

 

Treatment

 

A device called a dilator is passed through the narrowed area to stretch the ring. Sometimes, a balloon is placed in the area and inflated, to help widen the ring.

 

Outlook (Prognosis)

 

Swallowing problems may return. You may need repeat treatment.

 

When to Contact a Medical Professional

 

Call your health care provider if you have swallowing problems.

 

 

References

Devault KR. Symptoms of esophageal disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 13.

Madanick R, Orlando RC. Anatomy, histology, embryology, and developmental anomalies of the esophagus. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 42.

 
  • Schatzki ring - X-ray

    Schatzki ring - X-ray - illustration

    A solution containing a dye (barium), which is visible on x-rays, has been swallowed (upper GI series) and x-rays have been taken of the esophagus. There is a narrowing near the stomach (indicated by the arrow). This non-cancerous ring of tissue (Shatzki ring) may cause swallowing problems (dysphagia) and can be treated with dilation of the stricture.

    Schatzki ring - X-ray

    illustration

  • Upper gastrointestinal system

    Upper gastrointestinal system - illustration

    The upper gastrointestinal organs include the mouth, esophagus and stomach.

    Upper gastrointestinal system

    illustration

    • Schatzki ring - X-ray

      Schatzki ring - X-ray - illustration

      A solution containing a dye (barium), which is visible on x-rays, has been swallowed (upper GI series) and x-rays have been taken of the esophagus. There is a narrowing near the stomach (indicated by the arrow). This non-cancerous ring of tissue (Shatzki ring) may cause swallowing problems (dysphagia) and can be treated with dilation of the stricture.

      Schatzki ring - X-ray

      illustration

    • Upper gastrointestinal system

      Upper gastrointestinal system - illustration

      The upper gastrointestinal organs include the mouth, esophagus and stomach.

      Upper gastrointestinal system

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Self Care

       

        Tests for Lower esophageal ring

         

           

          Review Date: 8/2/2016

          Reviewed By: Raymond S. Koff, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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