Intraluminal manometric studies performed on 12 patients with chronic Chagas disease and megacolon without clinical or radiological abnormalities of the oesophagus showed no alteration in oesophageal physiology under basal conditions when compared with a control group of 30 healthy subjects. Oesophageal peristalsis was unimpaired.
Patients with chronic Chagas disease and megacolon differed from normals in their reaction to a small dose of a cholinergic drug. This agent induced an isolated but significant increase in resting pressure at the level of the oesophagogastric sphincter, accompanied in most cases by an increase in spontaneous activity but not by a change in resting pressure in the body of the oesophagus. This is interpreted as a subclinical expression of oesophageal pathology related to Chagas disease.
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