Last reviewed 10/2021


  • is difficulty in swallowing food or liquid
    • cause may be local or systemic.
  • is common, especially in old age
  • should be distinguished from the following two conditions
    • odynophagia : painful swallowing (frequently associated with dysphagia)
    • globus : sensation of a mass in the throat
  • can be grouped as :
    • oropharyngeal dysphagia
      • abnormalities of the initiation of swallowing reflex in the oropharynx
      • common in old age
      • commonest cause is stroke
    • oesophageal dysphagia
      • abnormalities of flow of the food bolus through the esophagus into the stomach
      • causes include:
        • achalasia, scleroderma,carcinomas, strictures