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Z-line, what is this???HELP

  I have just seen the doctor. He told me (after X-rays) that I have a z-ring or z-line in my oesophagus.
  Can someone plaese tell me what this is?
  I know there is a z-line at the end of the oesophages, but this one is not normal.
  It must be a few centimeters above the stomach.
  I have problems swallowing food.
  It gets stuck at this z-line.
  Can it become better?
  Thanks in advance.
  Co van Buuren, Holland Europe.
Dear Co,
As you mentioned the Z- line is the point at which the esophagus meets the stomach. Another term to describe the Z- line is the squamocolumnar junction (the point where the lining changes from esophageal [squamous] to stomach [columnar]. In this area is the location of the lower esophageal sphincter.
What you are referring to is probably a B-ring or a Schatzki ring. It is a common cause of solid food dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). It is a lower esophageal mucosal (made of esophageal tissue or scar tissue) ring that is often associated with a hiatal hernia and gastroesophageal reflux disease.  The dysphagia may respond to treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease or may require esophageal dilatation (stretching the food pipe). Another type of ring called the A-ring. It is a muscular ring that can be present at the lower esophagus and may also be responsible for dysphagia and food impaction. It is not a fixed deformity and is hard to demonstrate with x-rays or endoscopy. I hope you find this information helpful.
This response is being provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Always check with your personal physician when you have a question pertaining to your health.
If you would like to be seen at our institution please call 1-800-653-6568 our Referring Physicians' Office and make an appointment to see Dr. Muszkat, one of our experts in Gastroenterology.
*Keywords: Z-line, squamocolumnar junction, Schatzki (B) ring, A-ring, dysphagia, treatment

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