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Observations on oesophageal length.
  1. G J Kalloor,
  2. A H Deshpande,
  3. J L Collis

    Abstract

    The subject of oesophageal length is discussed. The great variations in the length of the oesophagus in individual patients is noted, and the practical use of its recognition in oesophageal surgery is stressed. An apprasial of the various methods available for this measurement is made; this includes the use of external chest measurement, endoscopic measurement, and the measurement of the level of the electrical mucosal potential change. Correlative studies of these various methods are made, and these show a very high degree of significance. These studies involved simultaneous measurement of external and internal oesophageal length in 26 patients without a hiatal hernia or gastro-oesophageal length in 26 patients without a hiatal hernia or gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms, 42 patients with sliding type hiatal hernia, and 17 patients with a peptic stricture in association with hiatal hernia. The method of measuring oesophageal length by the use of the external chest measurement, that is, the distance between the lower incisor teeth and the xiphisternum, measured with the neck fully extended and the patient lying supine, is described in detail, its practical application in oesophageal surgery is illustrated, and its validity tested by internal measurements. The findings of this study demonstrate that the external chest measurement provides a mean of assessing the true static length of the oesophagus, corrected for the size of the individual.

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