Causes and Diagnoses
Causes and Diagnoses of Dysphagia
A variety of diseases and conditions can cause dysphasia, including:
- Neurologic conditions, such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease
- Muscular dystrophies
- Tumors, strictures, ulcers or varices in the esophagus
- History of radiation for throat cancer
- Disorders of the esophagus, including:
A number of tests can determine the cause and extent of your dysphagia. Your physician will select the best method for diagnosing your condition, choosing from:
- Esophagram/barium swallow: A special series of X-rays is taken of your esophagus after you drink small amounts of a liquid containing barium, a contrast material that coats your esophagus and shows up well on X-rays.
- Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES): An endoscope (a thin, lighted tube with a camera attached to it) is passed through your mouth and esophagus. This tiny camera lets the physician see the surface of your esophagus. The physician may, if necessary, perform a biopsy (obtain small tissue samples) by using forceps (tiny tweezers) that are passed through the endoscope. A pathologist will examine the sample to determine if the tissues are abnormal.
- Capsule endoscopy: A tiny camera, embedded in a small capsule that you swallow, takes pictures of your esophagus.
- Pharyngeal manometry: A pressure-sensitive tube is passed through your nose and into your stomach to measure pressure inside your esophagus.
- CT scan: A computed tomography (CT) scan combines X-ray and computer technology to produce detailed cross-sectional images of your esophagus.