Intramural tracking: A feature of esophageal intramural pseudodiverticulosis

Academic Article


  • OBJECTIVE. Our purpose was to determine the frequency of intramural tracking in patients with esophageal intramural pseudodiverticulosis and to characterize the morphologic features of this finding on barium studies. MATERIALS AND METHODS. A review of radiology files at two institutions revealed 30 cases of esophageal intramural pseudodiverticulosis diagnosed at esophagography. In all cases, the radiographs were reviewed retrospectively to determine the frequency and morphologic features of intramural tracking in these patients. The number and distribution of pseudodiverticula and the presence or absence of strictures or esophagitis were also noted. RESULTS. Fifteen (50%) of 30 patients with esophageal intramural pseudodiverticulosis had intramural tracking on esophagography. The tracks had an average length of 1.2 cm (length range, 0.3-7 cm) and an average width of 1.6 mm (width range, 1-4 mm). The pseudodiverticula were more numerous and had a more diffuse distribution in patients with tracking than in patients without tracking. Although patients with and without tracking had a similar frequency of strictures and esophagitis, patients with tracking were more likely to have strictures involving the upper or mid esophagus, whereas patients without tracking were more likely to have strictures in the distal esophagus. These findings indicate that intramural tracking is more likely to occur in patients with the diffuse form of esophageal intramural pseudodiverticulosis. CONCLUSION. Intramural tracking was detected on esophagography in 50% of patients with esophageal intramural pseudodiverticulosis, so this type of tracking is a more common radiographic finding than has previously been recognized. Although intramural tracking has little or no known clinical significance, it is important to be aware of this finding so that it is not mistaken for a large flat ulcer in the esophagus or for an extramural collection associated with esophageal peridiverticulitis.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Canon CL; Levine MS; Cherukuri R; Johnson LF; Kevin Smith J; Koehler RE
  • Start Page

  • 371
  • End Page

  • 374
  • Volume

  • 175
  • Issue

  • 2