Schatzki Ring Clinical Presentation

Updated: Dec 16, 2014
  • Author: Rajeev Vasudeva, MD; Chief Editor: Julian Katz, MD  more...
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  • Most patients present with intermittent, episodic, nonprogressive dysphagia to solids. Dysphagia to liquids is usually not present.

    • The episode of dysphagia appears to be short lived.

    • Typically, the patient ate a meal in a hurried fashion.

    • The bolus of food may occasionally be forced down by drinking liquids, or may be regurgitated to relieve the obstruction.

    • After forcing the bolus through or regurgitating it, the patient can usually finish his or her meal without difficulty.

    • Dysphagia may not recur for months or years in these patients. Daily dysphagia is unlikely to be caused by a Schatzki ring.

  • Bread (especially freshly baked) and meat appear to be common foods that frequently precipitate symptoms. Patients often present after rapidly eating meat and drinking alcohol at a restaurant; hence, some authorities equate Schatzki ring to the "steakhouse syndrome."

  • Associated symptoms of heartburn and regurgitation characteristic of gastroesophageal reflux disease may occur in some patients.



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  • Physical examination findings are usually unremarkable.

  • The patient may salivate and drool if the offending food bolus continues to completely obstruct the lower esophagus for a longer duration, but this scenario is excessively rare.