Department of Radiology, Hokkaido University School of Medicine
Ultrasonic diagnosis, Esophagus, Motility
Physiological and morphological changes of the anterior wall of the cervical esophagus before and after pharyngolaryngeal movements were examined using ultrasonography. Forty-three healthy adults were examined. The averege wall thickness was 1.9-2.0 mm at rest 2.1-2.2 mm after conversation and 2.9-3.0 mm after laughing. These values indicate significant thickening after laughter (p Muscularis propria and Lamina muscularis mucosae. Thickness of Muscularis propria averaged 0.9 mm before laughter and 1.5 mm after laughter. The identification of wall layers improved after conversation (p The author believes that the thickening of the esophageal wall after pharyngolaryngeal movement are due to contraction of muscles—Muscularis propria and Lamina muscularis mucosae—mainly because thickening of muscular layers was observed in B-mode images of both muscles, and in the measurement figures in Muscularis propria. Furthermore, the esophagus changed to a circular cross-section shape. This supports the muscle-contraction theory described above. In addition, observing the wall of the esophagus using ultrasonography after pharyngolarylgeal movement(s) prcvides a good method of assessing wall structure, because such movement(s) improves the visualization of the esophageal wall.