Causes and Diagnoses
Causes and Diagnoses of an Esophageal Stricture
Esophageal strictures are often caused by a build-up of scar tissues from a variety of conditions and events, including:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Eosinophilic esophagitis
- Esophageal scleroderma
- Treatment for esophageal varices (enlarged veins in the esophagus)
- Hiatal hernia
- Endoscopy injury
- Extensive use of a nasogastric (NG) tube (tube that passes through the esophagus into the stomach)
- Swallowing toxic substances, including household cleaners, lye or battery acid
Diagnosing esophageal strictures
Diagnosis of esophageal stricture will begin with a medical history and physical exam. Tests may include:
- 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. Your physician can look at pictures of your digestive tract and take a biopsy (tissue sample) for examination under a microscope.
- Esophagram/barium swallow: Special X-rays are taken of your esophagus after you drink barium, a contrast material that coats your esophagus and shows up well on X-rays.
- CT scan: A computed tomography (CT) scan combines X-ray and computer technology to produce detailed cross-sectional images of your esophagus.