Peroral endoscopic myotomy for treatment of achalasia: initial results of a korean study

Byung Hoo Lee, Kwang Yeun Shim, Su Jin Hong, Gene Hyun Bok, Jun-Hyung Cho, Tae Hee Lee, Joo Young Cho
Clinical Endoscopy 2013, 46 (2): 161-7

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Achalasia is a rare esophageal motility disorder. Recently, a novel endoscopic technique, peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM), was introduced as an alternative treatment for achalasia. We report the results and short term outcomes of POEM for patients with achalasia.

METHODS: POEM was performed in 13 patients with achalasia. The procedure consisted of creating a submucosal tunnel followed by endoscopic myotomy of circular muscle bundles. The mucosal entry was closed by conventional hemostatic clips. A validated clinical symptom score (Eckardt score) and high resolution manometry were used to evaluate the outcomes.

RESULTS: Both the clinical score of achalasia, as well as the resting lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure, were significantly reduced after POEM. Mean posttreatment Eckardt score was 0.4±0.7, compared to 6.4±1.9 prior to the treatment (p=0.001). The mean pretreatment and posttreatment LES pressure was 30.3 and 15.3 mm Hg, respectively (p=0.007). Following POEM, symptomatic relief from dysphagia without reflux symptoms was observed in all patients (13/13). No serious complications related to POEM were encountered.

CONCLUSIONS: Based upon our initial experience, the authors believe that POEM is a feasible, safe, and effective treatment and may possibly substitute established treatments of refractory achalasia.

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