A pneumatic dilation strategy in achalasia: Prospective outcome and effects on oesophageal motor function in the long term

I. Bravi, M. T. Nicita, P. Duca, A. Grigolon, P. CantÙ, C. Caparello, R. Penagini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 31, 658-665 SummaryBackground Long-term follow-up studies of achalasia after pneumatic dilation, mostly retrospective, have shown variable results. Aim To examine the outcome of achalasia after pneumatic dilation using a prospective follow-up programme. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusions 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-665
Number of pages8
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Volume31
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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