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A breakthrough for an esophagus defect?

A team of researchers at the University of Missouri has identified a defect of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) as a potential treatable cause of megaesophagus.

The name of the devastating disease in dogs derives from a dilated esophagus with little or no mobility, preventing normal passage of food and liquid. Dogs continue to eat, enlarging the esophagus and wasting away. The LES acts as a valve between the esophagus and the stomach, opening when food and water are swallowed. In dogs with megaesophagus, the LES remains closed.

Missouri researchers used endoscopies to dilate the LES and administer Botox, paralyzing sphincter muscles that formerly remained closed. They used video fluoroscopy to evaluate swallowing.

"While we are still evaluating this procedure, we've had dogs with remarkable clinical improvement," a researcher says. "The patients that show improvement can be candidates for surgery, and that surgery is potentially curative."

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Title Annotation:IN THE NEWS...
Publication:Dog Watch
Date:Feb 1, 2017
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