Oesophageal spasm

Uncoordinated muscle contractions in the oesophagus, which cause intermittent swallowing difficulties and chest or upper abdominal pain. The spasm may be caused by reflux oesophagitis, but often occurs for no apparent reason. Women are more commonly affected. A barium swallow (see barium X-ray examinations) and endoscopy may be used to rule out a more serious condition, such as cancer. Treatment is of the underlying cause.


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