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World J Gastrointest Endosc. 2014 Apr 16;6(4):105-11. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v6.i4.105.

Childhood achalasia: A comprehensive review of disease, diagnosis and therapeutic management.

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Ashanti L Franklin, Mikael Petrosyan, Timothy D Kane, Department of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC 20010, United States.


Achalasia is an esophageal motility disorder characterized by failure of lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxation and is rare in children. The most common symptoms are vomiting, dysphagia, regurgitation, and weight loss. Definitive diagnosis is made with barium swallow study and esophageal manometry. In adults, endoscopic biopsy is recommended to exclude malignancy however; it is not as often indicated in children. Medical management often fails resulting in recurrent symptoms and the ultimate definitive treatment is surgical. Laparoscopic Heller myotomy with or without an anti-reflux procedure is the treatment of choice and has become standard of care for children with achalasia. Peroral endoscopic myotomy is a novel therapy utilized with increasing frequency for achalasia treatment in adults. More experience is needed to determine the safety, efficacy, and feasibility of peroral endoscopic myotomy in children.


Achalasia; Balloon dilatation; Lower esophageal sphincter; Pediatrics; Surgical Heller myotomy

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