Management of Esophageal Achalasia in Quebec

Catherine Pouyez, Elissaveta Neshkova, Daniel von Renteln, Mickael Bouin


Background: Esophageal achalasia is a defective relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter with a loss of esophageal peristalsis causing dysphagia. Treatment can be Heller myotomy, pneumatic balloon dilation, Botox injections, peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) or medical. The main objective of the study was to measure the extent of post-treatment dysphagia depending on the type of treatment.

Methods: This was a retrospective study conducted at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Universite de Montreal (CHUM) between 2011 and 2017. All patients with manometric diagnostic of achalasia in our department were included. Data were collected with the electronic health record and a standardized post-treatment telephone survey to evaluate the extent of dysphagia and the use of proton pump inhibitor (PPI).

Results: A total of 169 patients were included. The most frequent treatments were Heller myotomy (60%), Botox injection (18%) and endoscopic balloon dilation (16%). There was a significant difference in the management of patients treated at the CHUM and outside the CHUM for the frequency of pneumatic dilation (28 vs. 7%; P = 0.001) and Heller myotomy (49 vs. 69%; P = 0.02). An Eckardt score ≤ 3 was found in 80% of patients. No significant score difference was found between the CHUM and outside CHUM groups or between the different treatments. The post-treatment use of PPI was of 49% and was not significantly different depending on the site or the type of treatment.

Conclusion: Heller myotomy stays the most frequent treatment, especially outside our tertiary center. The rate of post-treatment dysphagia is low no matter the treatment choice. The use of PPI stays frequent regardless of the management site or the type of treatment used.

J Clin Med Res. 2019;11(10):682-689


Esophageal achalasia; Management in Quebec; Eckardt score

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