The aging process causes a progressive loss of the intrinsic esophageal innervation that may impair esophageal motility. Esophageal motility was studied by the manometric method in 30 symptomatic patients aged 70 to 83 years (median 72 years). The most frequent symptom was dysphagia, followed by chest pain. Eleven patients had Chagas' disease, with esophageal motility similar to that found in patients with the disease and of all ages. Thirteen patients had systemic diseases or esophagitis. Simultaneous contractions of low amplitude were found in five, normal motility in seven, and peristaltic contraction of low amplitude in one. The other six patients did not have systemic diseases or esophagitis. Esophageal motility was normal in two, the contractions were simultaneous in four, of low amplitude in three, and of high amplitude in one. These patients were interpreted to have presbiesophagus.