Synchrony between circular and longitudinal muscle contractions during peristalsis in normal subjects

Division of Gastroenterology, University of California, and San Diego Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Diego, CA 92161, USA.
AJP Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology (Impact Factor: 3.8). 04/2006; 290(3):G431-8. DOI: 10.1152/ajpgi.00237.2005
Source: PubMed


The current understanding is that longitudinal muscle contraction begins before and outlasts circular muscle contraction during esophageal peristalsis in normal subjects. The goal of our study was to reassess the relationship between the contractility of two muscle layers using novel ways to look at the muscle contraction. We studied normal subjects using synchronized high-frequency ultrasound imaging and manometry. Swallow-induced peristalsis was recorded at 5 and 10 cm above the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Ultrasound (US) images were analyzed for muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) and circularity index of the esophagus during various phases of esophageal contraction. A plot of the M mode US image, muscle CSA, and esophageal circularity index was developed to assess the temporal correlation between various parameters. The muscle CSA wave began before and lasted longer than the contraction pressure wave at both 5 and 10 cm above the LES. M mode US images revealed that the onset of muscle CSA wave was temporally aligned with the onset of lumen collapse. The peak muscle CSA occurred in close proximity with the peak pressure wave. The esophagus started to become more circular (decrease in circularity index) with the onset of the muscle CSA wave. The circularity index and muscle CSA returned to the baseline at approximately the same time. In conclusion, the onset of lumen collapse and return of circularity index of the esophagus are likely to be the true markers of the onset and end of circular muscle contraction. Circular and longitudinal muscle layers of the esophagus contract in a precise synchronous fashion during peristalsis in normal subjects.

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    • "Esophageal pressure (due to circular muscle contraction) in the contracted segment is distributed in the form of a bell shaped curve, with peak pressure in the middle. Simultaneous US imaging and manometry shows that longitudinal muscle also contracts in a fashion identical to the circular muscle, i.e., the 2 contract synchronously, peak of 2 muscle contraction occur within 1 second of each other.10 Secondary peristalsis or esophageal propulsive force induced by distension of a balloon in the esophagus also induces contraction and relaxation of the 2 muscle layers synchronously, above and below the site of distension respectively.11 "
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    ABSTRACT: Muscularis propria of the esophagus is organized into circular and longitudinal muscle layers. Goal of this review is to summarize the role of longitudinal muscle in physiology and pathophysiology of esophageal sensory and motor function. Simultaneous manometry and ultrasound imaging that measure circular and longitudinal muscle contraction respectively reveal that during peristalsis 2 layers of the esophagus contract in perfect synchrony. On the other hand, during transient relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), longitudinal muscle contracts independently of circular muscle. Recent studies provide novel insights, i.e., longitudinal muscle contraction of the esophagus induces LES relaxation and possibly descending relaxation of the esophagus. In achalasia esophagus and other motility disorders there is discoordination between the 2 muscle layers. Longitudinal muscle contraction patterns are different in the recently described three types of achalasia identified by high-resolution manometry. Robust contraction of the longitudinal muscle in type II achalasia causes pan-esophageal pressurization and is the mechanism of whatever little esophageal emptying that take place in the absence of peristalsis and impaired LES relaxation. It may be that preserved longitudinal muscle contraction is also the reason for superior outcome to medical/surgical therapy in type II achalasia esophagus. Prolonged contractions of longitudinal muscles of the esophagus is a possible mechanism of heartburn and "angina like" pain seen in esophageal motility disorders and possibly achalasia esophagus. Novel techniques to record longitudinal muscle contraction are on the horizon. Neuro-pharmacologic control of circular and longitudinal muscles is different, which provides an important opportunity for the development of novel pharmacological therapies to treat sensory and motor disorders of the esophagus.
    Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility 04/2013; 19(2):126-36. DOI:10.5056/jnm.2013.19.2.126 · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    • "The existence of an anatomical sphincter in the GOJ has been controversial (Mosher, 1930; Bombeck et al., 1966; Liebermann-Meffert and Brauer, 1995; Apaydin et al., 2008a). The findings in this study showed that the cross-sectional area of the muscle layers and the inner radius at the upper surface of the tissue block was consistent with the measurements obtained by Mittal et al. (2006) and Nicosia et Fig. 7. A change in the fiber direction of the CM (circular muscle) layer was observed at the squamocolumnar junction. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to obtain detailed information regarding the three-dimensional structure of the gastro-oesophageal region, and, in particular, the fiber orientation of the different muscle layers of the junction. This was achieved by a study of an en bloc resection of the gastro-oesophageal junction (GOJ) harvested from a human cadaver. The excised tissue block was suspended in a cage to preserve anatomical relationships, fixed in formalin and embedded in wax. The tissue block was then processed by a custom-built extended-volume imaging system to obtain the microstructural information using a digital camera which acquires images at a resolution of 8.2 microm/pixel. The top surface of the tissue block was sequentially stained and imaged. At each step, the imaged surface was milled off at a depth of 50 microm. The processing of the tissue block resulted in 650 images covering a length of 32.25 mm of the GOJ. Structures, including the different muscle and fascial layers, were then traced out from the cross-sectional images using color thresholding. The traced regions were then aligned and assembled to provide a three-dimensional representation of the GOJ. The result is the detailed three-dimensional microstructural anatomy of the GOJ represented in a new way. The next stage will be to integrate key physiological events, including peristalsis and relaxation, into this model using mathematical modeling to allow accurate visual tools for training health professionals and patients.
    Clinical Anatomy 04/2010; 23(3):287-96. DOI:10.1002/ca.20941 · 1.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We summarize from previous works the functions of circular vs. longitudinal muscle in esophageal peristaltic bolus transport using a mix of experimental data, the conservation laws of mechanics and mathematical modeling. Whereas circular muscle tone generates radial closure pressure to create a local peristaltic closure wave, longitudinal muscle tone has two functions, one physiological with mechanical implications, and one purely mechanical. Each of these functions independently reduces the tension of individual circular muscle fibers to maintain closure as a consequence of shortening of longitudinal muscle locally coordinated with increasing circular muscle tone. The physiological function is deduced by combining basic laws of mechanics with concurrent measurements of intraluminal pressure from manometry, and changes in cross sectional muscle area from endoluminal ultrasound from which local longitudinal shortening (LLS) can be accurately obtained. The purely mechanical function of LLS was discovered from mathematical modeling of peristaltic esophageal transport with the axial wall motion generated by LLS. Physiologically, LLS concentrates circular muscle fibers where closure pressure is highest. However, the mechanical function of LLS is to reduce the level of pressure required to maintain closure. The combined physiological and mechanical consequences of LLS are to reduce circular muscle fiber tension and power by as much as 1/10 what would be required for peristalsis without the longitudinal muscle layer, a tremendous benefit that may explain the existence of longitudinal muscle fiber in the gut. We also review what is understood of the role of longitudinal muscle in esophageal emptying, reflux and pathology.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 04/2007; 13(9):1335-46. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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