Oesophageal function can be studied with intraluminal manometry, indwelling pH electrodes or with in vitro methods using isolated tissue. Radiology and endoscopy are the main diagnostic procedures. Innervation of the body of the oesophagus is mainly cholinergic, but the lower oesophageal sphincter appears to be affected by a wide range of biogenic substances, such as autonomic transmitters, polypeptide hormones and prostaglandins. Most drugs used in the treatment of oesophageal disorders act by modifying the action of the naturally occurring agents.
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