Appearance of a double bubble in achalasia cardia: a case report

Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Journal of Medical Case Reports 01/2009; 2:383. DOI: 10.1186/1752-1947-2-383
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Achalasia cardia is characterized by failure of the lower esophageal sphincter to relax in response to swallowing and by an absence of peristalsis in the esophageal body. Absence of a gastric air bubble is a well known radiological finding. Pneumatic balloon dilatation results in reappearance of the gastric bubble.
We report the case of a 43-year-old Indian man with achalasia cardia whose chest X-ray at the time of presentation showed an air bubble in the gastric region causing a diagnostic quandary. Successful dilatation of the lower esophageal sphincter resulted in the appearance of another air bubble in the gastric region. Proper analysis showed that the first bubble was actually a colonic air bubble of the splenic flexure and the appearance of the second bubble was the anticipated gastric air bubble.
In patients presenting with achalasia cardia, a colonic air bubble may be seen in the gastric region causing diagnostic difficulty. In these patients, a gastric air bubble may appear after pneumatic dilatation. At the end of the procedure, there will be two air bubbles ("double bubble"): a colonic and a gastric air bubble. To our knowledge, this finding has not been reported in the literature thus far.

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