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 etiology 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 esophagus 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
- 1. Eisenberg RL. Clinical imaging, an atlas of differential diagnosis. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2003) ISBN:0781732344. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. Torres WE, Clements JL, Austin GE et-al. Cricopharyngeal muscle hypertrophy: radiologic-anatomic correlation. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 1984;142 (5): 927-30. AJR Am J Roentgenol (abstract) - Pubmed citation
- 3. Cook I. Cricopharyngeal bar and zenker diverticulum. Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2012;7 (8): 540. Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation