In this study the location of the lower oesophageal sphincter measured by manometry and the location of the squamous columnar junction measured by endoscopy were determined in 109 healthy controls and 778 patients with different degrees of endoscopic oesophagitis. No significant differences in the prevalence and severity of the heartburn and regurgitation were observed when different degrees of oesophagitis were compared but dysphagia was more common and severe in patients with complicated Barrett's oesophagus (p < 0.001). This group also showed a male predominance and older age compared with other groups. The total length of the oesophagus, measured by the location of the distal end of the lower oesophageal sphincter was similar in all patients; however, the location of the squamous columnar junction extended more proximally and was related to the increasing severity of endoscopic oesophagitis. The manometric defects at the cardia were more frequent in severe oesophagitis (p < 0.001). These results suggest that, during the course of oesophagitis, the squamous columnar junction is displaced proximally. This displacement is limited to the mucosa, however, and does not involve the muscular layer, because the lower oesophageal sphincter undergoes no dislocation.
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