Cricopharyngeal muscle spasm is also known as cricopharyngeal achalasia, although some authors distinguish between these entities, and may present as a cause of dysphagia.
There is confusing use of the terms cricopharyngeal muscle spasm, cricopharyngeal achalasia and cricopharyngeal bar.
Cricopharyngeal bar refers to the radiographic appearance of a prominent cricopharyngeus muscle contour but is not synonymous with cricopharyngeal muscle spasm/achalasia, which is one of the underlying pathologies that can cause the appearance of one.
In most patients the exact aetiology for this spasm is unknown. Some associated predisposing conditions include:
Presents as a cricopharyngeal bar, which is seen as a relatively constant impression on the posterior aspect of oesophagus at C5-6 level. Cricopharyngeal spasm can be diagnosed with manometry.
Treatment and prognosis
- those for a cricopharyngeal bar
- similar appearance can occur post total laryngectomy
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