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ABSTRACT: Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the value of radionuclide esophageal transit time (RET) in prediction of the results of pneumatic dilation in patients with achalasia. Patients and methods: Thirty patients (13 males) with a mean age of 37 ± 15.6 years (range 17-73 years) were included in the study. All patients were diagnosed to have idiopathic achalasia of the cardia and selected for pneumatic dilation. Each patient had three RET, two the same day of dilation (pre-and postdilation) and a third follow up one within three months of dilation (4 patients failed to come for follow up and were excluded). Results: Several parameters were derived from RET studies, T/50: time required for 50% of activity in the esophagus to be cleared, T/10 : time required for 90% of activity in the esophagus to be cleared and percentage clearance at 10 min. These parameters were compared to response of dysphagia to dilation. It was evident that the higher the esophageal clearance postdilation, the better the outcome. When immediate post dilation clearance was 85% or more the success rate was 83.3% whereas when it was 20-50% the success rate was only 21.4%. No relation was found between T/50, T/10 and dysphagia response. Conclusion: RET appears to be a useful quantitative procedure in the assessment of pneumatic dilation outcome in achalasia patients.
Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology 01/1999;