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Pharyngeal Painful Tonic Spasms: Paroxysmal Painful Swallowing

Domenico A. Restivo, MD, PhD; Claudio Solaro, MD; Davide Maimone, MD, PhD; Antonino Pavone, MD; and Rosario Marchese-Ragona, MD
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From “Nuovo Garibaldi” Hospital, 95100 Catania, Italy; AUSL 3 Genovese, Genova, Italy; “Nuovo Garibaldi” Hospital, 95100 Catania, Italy; and University of Padova, Padova, Italy.

Potential Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Ann Intern Med. 2011;155(9):649-650. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-155-9-201111010-00024
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Grahic Jump Location
Electromyographic recordings from the cricopharyngeal muscle (top) and pharyngeal inferior constrictor muscle (bottom) during painful tonic spasms.

The voluntary activation of the inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscle during swallowing is associated with a burst of simultaneous paroxysmal hypertonic activity of the cricopharyngeal muscle instead of physiologic inhibiton. The arrow in the bottom panel indicates the onset of voluntary swallowing; the arrow in the top panel indicates the onset of the concomitant paroxysmal burst of involuntary activity in the cricopharyngeal muscle in course of the painful tonic spasm. Calibration: vertical bar (amplitude): 100 µV/Div; horizontal bar (sweep): 1 s/Div.

Grahic Jump Location




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