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Achalasia and Absent Gastric Air Bubble

ROY C. ORLANDO, M.D.; DAVID L. CALL, M.D.; and CHARLES A. BREAM, M.D.
Ann Intern Med. 1978;88(1):60-61. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-88-1-60
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

Achalasia is an esophageal motor disorder whose major symptom is dysphagia (1-3). This symptom results from ineffective transport of swallowed material from mouth to stomach. Because swallowed air is largely responsible for the gastric air bubble on chest roentgenogram (4), an impairment of air transport may alter this finding. Indeed, absence of a gastric air bubble on erect chest roentgenogram has been suggested as a sign of achalasia (1-3, 5). Because this radiologic sign lacks adequate documentation, we investigated its prevalence in patients with achalasia and in suitable control subjects.

Erect chest roentgenogram (posterioanterior and lateral) were available for study

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