The relationship between gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms and achalasia
ABSTRACT Patients with achalasia can experience heartburn, which may be misinterpreted as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), leading to a delay in diagnosis and subsequent treatment. We investigated the relationship between gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) and reflux symptoms in a large cohort of patients with achalasia.
The symptoms of all patients with a manometric diagnosis of achalasia made over the past 15 years were studied. The types of treatment, onset and pattern of heartburn, lower oesophageal sphincter pressure (LOSP) and 24-h oesophageal pH studies were compared.
A total of 110 out of 225 untreated (48.9%) and 57 out of 99 treated (57.6%) patients experienced heartburn. An oesophageal pH study was performed on 80 patients and GOR was found in only six out of 57 untreated (10.5%) and 10 out of 23 treated (43.5%) patients. A low LOSP (<10 mmHg) was associated with an increased risk of GOR [odds ratio (OR) 14.2; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.6-128.7; P<0.02). Treated patients were also more likely to develop GOR (OR 7.9; 95% CI 2.0-32.1; P<0.005). Neither the LOSP nor previous treatment was, however, a predictor of heartburn. The timing of the onset of dysphagia and heartburn was categorized in 111 patients. There was no significant difference in mean (or median) LOSP between these three groups, indicating that the LOSP is unlikely to predict the occurrence of symptoms.
Heartburn is common in patients with untreated and treated achalasia, but is a poor predictor of GORD. Such patients should always be investigated with a 24-h oesophageal pH study to clarify the presence of GORD.
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ABSTRACT: Long-term follow-up studies of achalasia after pneumatic dilation, mostly retrospective, have shown variable results. To examine the outcome of achalasia after pneumatic dilation using a prospective follow-up programme. One or two dilations (first dilation treatment) in 77 patients to achieve stable (>1 year) remission and patients followed up with yearly clinical and manometric assessments. Endoscopy, pH monitoring and barium swallow were also performed. A total of 69 patients achieved stable remission and were followed up for 5.6 years (3-10.7) [median (IQ range)], whereas six patients underwent cardiomyotomy and two experienced a perforation. Twelve of the 69 patients relapsed after 2.6 years (1.7-5.1): nine of 12 underwent one to two further dilations. Six-year remission rate (by Kaplan-Meyer estimates) was 82% after first dilation treatment and 96% after all dilations. Continuous antisecretory treatment was clinically needed in 16%, oesophagitis present in 7% and reflux pathological in 28% of the patients. Beneficial effects of dilation on oesophageal motility and on diameter of the oesophageal body at barium swallow were maintained during follow-up. A management strategy including sessions of pneumatic dilation until stable remission and a standardized follow-up is highly successful in the long term. Gastro-oesophageal reflux is clinically relevant in a minority of patients.Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 12/2009; 31(6):658-65. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2036.2009.04217.x · 4.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The most effective treatment for achalasia is pneumatic dilation or myotomy. The best option is still controversial and incidence of complications could help choosing. Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GER) is the most frequent complication after treatment for achalasia. The 24-h pH monitoring (24-h pH) is the best method to evaluate true GER. To analyse the 24-h pH patterns after treatment, correlating with therapeutic success. Untreated patients with achalasia were randomized to pneumatic dilation or laparoscopic Heller myotomy with fundoplication (LHM+Fp) and evaluated with clinical/manometric results and 24-h pH. Ninety-four patients were analysed pre-treatment and 85 post-treatment. Clinical success was 73.8% in pneumatic dilation group and 88.3% in LHM+Fp group (P = 0.08). The incidence of GER was 31% in pneumatic dilation, and 4.7% in LHM+Fp (P = 0.001). The occurrence of hypotensive lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) was 53.3% in patients who developed GER and 28.6% in patients with 24-h pH suggesting fermentation (P = 0.019). The rates of dysphagia resolution in patients with 24-h pH of GER and fermentation were respectively 86.7% and 85.7% (P = 0.89). True GER 24-h pH is more frequent after pneumatic dilation for achalasia, and it is associated with a hypotensive LES. A 24-h pH suggestive of fermentation or true GER is not associated with worse clinical/manometric results.Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 11/2010; 32(10):1257-65. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2036.2010.04461.x · 4.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The following on achalasia and disorders of the esophageal body includes commentaries on controversies regarding whether patients with complete lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxation can be considered to exhibit early achalasia; the roles of different mucle components of the LES in achalasia; sensory neural pathways impaired in achalasia; indications for peroral endoscopic myotomy and advantages of the technique over laparoscopic and thorascopic myotomy; factors contributing to the success of surgical therapy for achalasia; modifications to the classification of esophageal body primary motility disorders in the advent of high-resolution manometry (HRM); analysis of the LES in differentiating between achalasia and diffuse esophageal spasm (DES); and appropriate treatment for DES, nutcracker esophagus (NE), and hypertensive LES (HTLES).Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 10/2013; 1300(1):236-249. DOI:10.1111/nyas.12254 · 4.31 Impact Factor