Endoscopic examination of the upper esophagus by withdrawal of endoscope over guide wire.
ABSTRACT Upper gastrointestinal (UGI) endoscopy is an important diagnostic modality in evaluation of patients with upper gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. However, lesions located in the cricopharyngeal area and upper esophagus can be missed, as this area may not be well visualized during endoscopy. This study was conducted to study the utility of a new technique of endoscopic examination of the upper esophagus by withdrawal of endoscope over guide wire in diagnosing esophageal disorders. Patients with suspected upper esophageal disorders on history and radiological investigations were assessed using guide wire assisted endoscopic examination during withdrawal of the endoscope. In this technique, endoscope is inserted into the esophagus under vision and thereafter the whole of esophagus, stomach and proximal duodenum is examined. The endoscope is then withdrawn into the mid-esophagus, a guide wire is fed into the biopsy channel, and thereafter inserted into the esophagus. Once guide wire has been advanced into the esophagus, the endoscope is withdrawn gently over the guide wire into esophagus carefully examining for lesions in upper esophagus and cricopharyngeal area. Twenty cases of various abnormalities localized to the upper esophagus were studied. The final diagnosis in these patients was cervical esophageal web (10), post transhiatal esophagectomy leak (4), heterotopic gastric mucosa (3), posttraumatic esophageal perforation (2), and Zenker's diverticulum (1). Intact web was detected in 2 patients and in 8 patients fractured web was seen. Guide wire assisted examination of upper esophagus improved the ability to visualize and characterize these lesions and no complications were encountered as a result of this procedure. Endoscopic examination of the upper esophagus by withdrawal of endoscope over guide wire is safe and effective in diagnosing anatomical abnormalities of the upper esophagus that may be missed or poorly characterized during standard endoscopy.