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Lower esophageal ring


A lower esophageal ring is an abnormal ring of tissue that forms where the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach) and stomach meet.

Alternative Names:

Esophagogastric ring; Schatzki's ring


A lower esophageal ring is a birth defect of the esophagus that occurs in a small number of people. It causes narrowing of the lower esophagus.

Narrowing of the esophagus may also be caused by:


For most people, lower esophageal ring does not cause symptoms.

The most common symptom is the feeling that food (especially solid food) is stuck in the lower neck or under the breastbone (sternum).

Exams and Tests:

Tests that show the lower esophageal ring include:


A device called a dilator is passed through the narrowed area to stretch the ring. Sometimes, a balloon is placed in the area and inflated, to help widen the ring.

Outlook (Prognosis):

Swallowing problems may return. You may need repeat treatment.

When to Contact a Medical Professional:

Call your health care provider if you have swallowing problems.


Long JD, Orlando RC. Anatomy, histology, embryology, and developmental anomalies of the esophagus. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2010: chap 41.

Review Date: 11/20/2014
Reviewed By: Jenifer K. Lehrer, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Frankford-Torresdale Hospital, Aria Health System, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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