Background and Aims: High-resolution esophageal manometry (HREM) is the gold standard procedure used for the diagnosis of esophageal motility disorders (EMD). Artificial intelligence (AI) might provide an efficient solution for the automatic diagnosis of EMD by improving the subjective interpretation of HREM images. The aim of our study was to develop an AI-based system, using neural networks, for the automatic diagnosis of HREM images, based on one wet swallow raw image.

Methods: In the first phase of the study, the manometry recordings of our patients were retrospectively analyzed by three experienced gastroenterologists, to verify and confirm the correct diagnosis. In the second phase of the study raw images were used to train an artificial neural network. We selected only those tracings with ten test swallows that were available for analysis, including a total of 1570 images. We had 10 diagnosis categories, as follows: normal, type I achalasia, type II achalasia, type III achalasia, esophago-gastric junction outflow obstruction, jackhammer oesophagus, absent contractility, distal esophageal spasm, ineffective esophageal motility, and fragmented peristalsis, based on Chicago classification v3.0 for EMDs.

Results: The raw images were cropped, binarized, and automatically divided in 3 parts: training, testing, validation. We used Inception V3 CNN model, pre-trained on ImageNet. We developed a custom classification layer, that allowed the CNN to classify each wet swallow image from the HREM system into one of the diagnosis categories mentioned above. Our algorithm was highly accurate, with an overall precision of more than 93%.

Conclusion: Our neural network approach using HREM images resulted in a high accuracy automatic diagnosis of EMDs.


artificial intelligence, convolutional neural network, Chicago classification, esophageal motility disorder diagnosis, high-resolution esophageal manometry, machine learning