The Effect of Verapamil on the Lower Esophageal Sphincter Pressure in Normal Subjects and in Achalasia
Indians, North American
Verapamil hydrochloride is an organic calcium antagonist that is known to decrease the contraction of smooth muscle. The purpose of our study was to determine if verapamil has a similar effect on the resting lower esophageal sphincter pressure in normal subjects and in patients with achalasia. Esophageal manometry was performed using a continuously perfused catheter assembly. Infusion of verapamil (0.15 mg/kg) over a 2-min period resulted in a statistically significant decrease in resting lower esophageal sphincter pressure in both normal subjects (n = 8) and patients with achalasia (n = 7) within 10 min postinfusion. This study suggests that verapamil may have potential as a drug therapy in treating the clinical symptoms of achalasia and diffuse esophageal spasm.