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Current Projects

Stretch Sensitive Neurons and Lower Esophageal Sphincter Relaxation

The major goal of this project is to determine the relationship between longitudinal muscle contraction of the esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter relaxation. We describe the technique of isolating myenteric neurons from the rat esophagus and use calcium imaging technique to study the function of myenteric neurons of the esophagus.

Assessment of External Anal Sphincter using Novel Magnetic Resonance Imaging Techniques

Goal of this study is determine the functional morphology of external anal sphincter in the humans using novel technique of diffusion tensor imaging, 3D-US imaging and high definition anal manometry. These studies are to be performed in the normal asymptomatic women and patient with fecal incontinence.

Ischemia of Esophageal Wall – a Mechanism of Esophageal Pain

Goal of this study is to determine if ischemia of esophageal wall is the cause of esophageal pain. These studies will be conducted in healthy normal subjects and patients with esophageal pain using laser Doppler perfusion technique to determine the temporal correlation between symptoms and esophageal wall blood ischemia. Furthermore, we will determine if longitudinal muscle contraction of the esophageal wall causes reduction in esophageal wall blood flow. We will also explore the temporal correlation between esophageal symptoms and longitudinal muscle contraction of the esophagus using ambulatory high resolution manometry.