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World J Gastrointest Endosc. 2016 Jan 25;8(2):30-9. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v8.i2.30.

Endoscopic treatment of esophageal achalasia.

Author information

1
Dario Esposito, Francesco Maione, Alessandra D'Alessandro, Giovanni Sarnelli, Giovanni D De Palma, Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Naples Federico II, School of Medicine, 80131 Naples, Italy.

Abstract

Achalasia is a motility disorder of the esophagus characterized by dysphagia, regurgitation of undigested food, chest pain, weight loss and respiratory symptoms. The most common form of achalasia is the idiopathic one. Diagnosis largely relies upon endoscopy, barium swallow study, and high resolution esophageal manometry (HRM). Barium swallow and manometry after treatment are also good predictors of success of treatment as it is the residue symptomatology. Short term improvement in the symptomatology of achalasia can be achieved with medical therapy with calcium channel blockers or endoscopic botulin toxin injection. Even though few patients can be cured with only one treatment and repeat procedure might be needed, long term relief from dysphagia can be obtained in about 90% of cases with either surgical interventions such as laparoscopic Heller myotomy or with endoscopic techniques such pneumatic dilatation or, more recently, with per-oral endoscopic myotomy. Age, sex, and manometric type by HRM are also predictors of responsiveness to treatment. Older patients, females and type II achalasia are better after treatment compared to younger patients, males and type III achalasia. Self-expandable metallic stents are an alternative in patients non responding to conventional therapies.

KEYWORDS:

Achalasia; Botulin toxin; Eckardt score; High resolution manometry subtypes; Myotomy; Per-oral endoscopic myotomy; Pneumatic dilatation

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