Esophageal Diverticulum

This is a rare condition to be found in young Children but can be found

There are three types of esophageal diverticula, based on where they form: Zenker’s diverticula, the most common type, are in the upper esophagus, mid-thoracic diverticula in the mid-chest, and epiphanic diverticula just above the diaphragm. The diverticulum grows over time, so symptoms can gradually develop or worsen. One of the popular theories is that Zenker diverticulum may be caused by reflux.

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page_19 However, there is absolutely no evidence to support this theory. Some patients with Zenker diverticulum who have been studied have evidence of reflux whereas others do not, and some have heartburn whereas others do not; there is no link between reflux disease and Zenker diverticulum even though I hear this misconception quite often. This supposed relationship is likely an extension of the concept that acid reflux can cause throat symptoms so that it is not just cough and laryngitis but also the sensation of fullness of the throat, Zenker diverticulum and other related symptoms. 

Zenker diverticulum to Cricopharyngeal bar, a prominence of the upper esophageal sphincter seen on a radiograph, is a related condition that is often mentioned in radiology reports. Most of the time, it does not cause any symptoms and if a patient does not have dysphagia or a diverticulum, the condition can be ignored. The cricopharyngeal bar is occasionally seen in patients who complain of dysphagia. In this scenario, the same abnormalities of decreased opening described above in regard to Zenker diverticulum appear to occur in patients with cricopharyngeal bar. However, I cannot say that the two conditions are necessarily related, as there are no major or frequent reports of patients developing cricopharyngeal bar and then a diverticulum. Nevertheless, both conditions do appear to be in the same area and appear to share the same abnormality. Zenker diverticulum has been found, on barium swallow studies administered for indications other than dysphagia. However, the true prevalence of asymptomatic diverticula is unknown.

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