[Cricopharyngeal bar and Dysphagia].Laryngorhinootologie. 2013 Apr; 92(4):230-3.L
The term Cricopharyngeal Bar (CPB) describes a posterior indentation at the pharyngoesophageal junction which becomes apparent during a Video Fluoroscopic Swallowing Exam (VFSE, modified barium swallow). The eff ect CPBs might have on swallowing is still under debate. This paper intends to review appearance, eff ects and the associated therapy of CPBs.
For this systematic review a selective literature research in PubMed has been carried out.
CPBs are usually diagnosed during VFSE. As VFSEs are mostly carried out in dysphagic patients, CBPs were also associated with dysphagia. Even though, CPBs are often related to dysphagia, they do also appear in patients without dysphagia. Therefore, the appearance of a CBP does not automatically represent the cause of dysphagic symptoms. Its impact on swallowing might, however, depend on the dimension of the protrusion as well as the weakening and dysfunction of the inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscle.
CBPs often present as an incidental finding during a modified barium swallow. A relation to dysphagia can only be assumed for severe CPBs. Therapy options include cricopharyngeal myotomy or esophago-gastro endoscopy using either bougies or balloons.