Dsysphagia is a sensation of "sticking" or obstruction of the passage of food through the mouth, pharynx, or oesophagus. The history can provide a presumptive diagnosis in over 80% of patients. Difficulty only with solids implies mechanical dysphagia. In advanced obstruction, dysphagia occurs with liquids as well as solids. Solids and liquids from the very onset equally affect motor dysphagia due to achalasia and diffuse oesophageal spasm. Transient dysphagia may be due to an inflammatory process. Progressive dysphagia lasting a few weeks to a few months is suggestive of carcinoma of the oesophagus. Episodic dysphagia to solids over years indicates a benign disease characteristic of a lower esophageal ring. Chest radiography, barium oesophagogram and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy often diagnose the cause of dysphagia.


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