Cricopharyngeal achalasia: Case reports and review of the literature

D. De Caluwé, M. C. Nassogne, R. Reding, J. De Ville De Goyet, Ph Clapuyt, J. B. Otte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Primary cricopharyngeal achalasia (a = absence, chalasia = relaxation) is a rare cause of swallowing disorders in newborns. Two cases are reported which were successfully treated by a myotomy of the cricopharyngeal muscle. A thorough history is essential in differential diagnosis as well as observation of the feeding infant. Presence of anatomical obstruction to swallowing and existence of neurological defects should be ruled out. Cineradiography with lateral views by an experienced radiologist is the best diagnostic technique. Esophageal manometry may provide information regarding other esophageal dyskinetic problems. However, these studies are difficult to perform in neonates and infants. Endoscopy may be helpful to exclude vocal cord paralysis or mechanical obstruction. Balloon dilatation has been reported as being successful in several reports; however no comparison of efficacy has been made in any series between dilatation of the upper esophagus and surgical myotomy which remains in our mind, the optimal treatment of cricopharyngeal achalasia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-112
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Cricopharyngeal myotomy
  • Lateral cineradiography
  • Primary cricopharyngeal achalasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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