Schatzki Ring Clinical Presentation

Updated: Dec 24, 2020
  • Author: Rajeev Vasudeva, MD; Chief Editor: Julian Katz, MD  more...
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Presentation

History and Physical Examination

History

Most patients with Schatzki ring are asymptomatic. Of those who have symptoms, most present with intermittent, episodic, nonprogressive dysphagia to solids. [1] 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 ("steakhouse syndrome") 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.

Physical examination

Physical examination findings are usually unremarkable in patients with Schatzki ring.

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.