COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Effect of peroral endoscopic myotomy on esophagogastric junction physiology in patients with achalasia

Tessa Verlaan, Wout O Rohof, Albert J Bredenoord, Susanne Eberl, Thomas Rösch, Paul Fockens
Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 2013, 78 (1): 39-44
23453184

BACKGROUND: Pneumatic dilation and laparoscopic Heller myotomy improve parameters of esophageal function such as lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure, esophageal emptying, and esophagogastric junction (EGJ) distensibility.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) on esophagogastric function.

DESIGN: Prospective trial.

SETTING: Endoscopy department at a university hospital.

PATIENTS: All consecutive patients aged >17 years with achalasia and an Eckardt score of ≥3.

INTERVENTION: Before and 3 months after POEM, 10 consecutive patients underwent esophageal manometry, timed barium esophagograms, and EndoFLIP as well as an EGD.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Eckardt symptom score, LES resting pressure, centimeters of barium stasis, EGJ distensibility, and reflux esophagitis.

RESULTS: Compared with scores before POEM, patient symptom scores were significantly reduced (1, interquartile range [IQR 0-1] vs 8 [IQR 4-8]; P = .005). LES pressure decreased significantly (6.0 mm Hg [IQR 2.6-7.4] vs 19.0 mm Hg [IQR 13.0-28.0]; P = .008). Esophageal emptying increased significantly, and a 5-minute barium column measured 2.3 cm (IQR 0-3.2 cm) versus 10.1 cm (IQR 5.7-10.8 cm; P = .005). EGJ distensibility increased significantly (6.7 mm(2)/mm Hg [IQR 3.8-16.6] vs 1.0 mm(2)/mm Hg [IQR 0.4-2.3]; P = .02) at 50 mL. In 6 of 10 patients, reflux esophagitis was seen. Of these patients, 3 reported reflux symptoms.

LIMITATIONS: Small number of patients, short-term follow-up.

CONCLUSION: POEM improves esophagogastric function and suggests favorable long-term results based on Eckardt score, esophageal manometry, esophageal emptying, and EGJ distensibility. Long-term follow-up of larger series will determine whether the high rate of reflux esophagitis affects the clinical application of POEM.

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