Achalasias, Esophageal
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  Achalasias, Esophageal



Achalasias, Esophageal

   Disorder of lower esophagogastric motility due to failure of the lower esophageal sphincter to relax with swallowing. It is sometimes caused by degeneration of the ganglion cells of the myenteric plexus or of the vagal motor nuclei.

RELATED TERMS
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Motility
The movement of food through the digestive tract.

Esophageal
Pertaining to the esophagus.

Sphincter
A ring-like band of muscle that opens and closes an opening in the body. An example is the muscle between the esophagus and the stomach known as the lower esophageal sphincter.

Ganglion
A cluster of nerve cells.

Plexus
A network of nerves or veins.

Nuclei
See nucleus.



SIMILAR TERMS
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Achalasia
"A disease of the esophagus caused by the abnormal function of nerves and muscles of the esophagus that makes swallowing difficult. There may sometimes be chest pain. Regurgitation of undigested food can occur, as can coughing or breathing problems due to entry of food into the lungs. The underlying problems are weakness of the lower portion of the esophagus and failure of the lower esophageal sphincter to open and allow passage of food. Achalasia may occur at any age but is predominantly a disease of young adults. Diagnosis is made by an X-ray, endoscopy, or esophageal manometry (to measure the pressure in the esophagus). Treatment includes medication, dilation (stretching) to widen the lower part of the esophagus, and surgery to open the lower esophagus. A fairly recent approach involves injecting medicines into the lower esophagus to relax the sphincter. The ""ch"" in achalasia is pronounced ""k"" as in ""ache"". The word achalasia comes from the Greek ""a-"", failure or absence + ""chalasis"", relaxation = a failure of relaxation, referring to failure of the lower sphincter muscle of the esophagus to relax."



PREVIOUS AND NEXT TERMS
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Achievement
Success in bringing an effort to the desired end; the degree or level of success attained in some specified area (esp. scholastic) or in general.

Aches, Back
Acute or chronic pain located in the posterior regions of the trunk, including the thoracic, lumbar, sacral, or adjacent regions.

Aches, Neck
Discomfort or more intense forms of pain that are localized to the cervical region. This term generally refers to pain in the posterior or lateral regions of the neck.

Aches, Low Back
Acute or chronic pain in the lumbar or sacral regions, which may be associated with musculo-ligamentous SPRAINS AND STRAINS; INTERVERTEBRAL DISK DISPLACEMENT; and other conditions.

Aches
An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli and generally received by specialized nerve endings.

Achalasias, Esophageal

Achromatium
A large group of aerobic bacteria which show up as pink (negative) when treated by the gram-staining method.

Achondroplasias
An autosomal dominant disorder that is the most frequent form of short-limb dwarfism. Affected individuals exhibit short stature caused by rhizomelic shortening of the limbs, characteristic facies with frontal bossing and mid-face hypoplasia, exaggerated lumbar lordosis, limitation of elbow extension, genu varum, and trident hand. (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Omim, MIM#100800, April 20, 2001)

Acholeplasmataceae
Gram-negative organisms including apparently free-living saprophytes as well as mammalian and avian parasites, and possibly pathogens.

Acholeplasma laidlawii
An organism originally isolated from sewage, manure, humus, and soil, but recently found as a parasite in mammals and birds.

Acholeplasma
A genus of gram-negative organisms including saprophytic and parasitic or pathogenic species.

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