Peroral endoscopic myotomy versus pneumatic dilation for achalasia in patients aged ≥ 65 years

Xuehong Wang, Yuyong Tan, Liang Lv, Hongyi Zhu, Yi Chu, Chenjie Li, Deliang Liu
Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas 2016, 108 (10): 637-641

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Both peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) and pneumatic dilation (PD) has proved to be effective for treating achalasia in patients aged ≥ 65 years. However little is known about the comparison between POEM and PD. The aim of the study was to compare the safety and efficacy of POEM and PD for the treatment of achalasia in these patients.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients aged 65 years-old or more who received POEM or PD for the treatment of achalasia at our hospital from January 2010 to December 2015, they were divided into the POEM group and the PD group. Demographics and data about safety and efficacy were collected retrospectively and compared between the two groups.

RESULTS: A total of 31 patients were enrolled, and 21 of them received POEM, while the other 10 received PD. The treatment success (Eckardt score ≤ 3) rate of POEM and PD at 3, 6, 12, 24 and 36 months after the treatment were comparable (p > 0.05). Treatment failure was noticed in 3 cases, 1 of them was in the POEM group and the other 2 in the PD group, there was no significant difference (p > 0.05). Multivariate analysis showed that sigmoid-type achalasia was a predictive factor of treatment failure. No severe complications were observed during operation and periodical follow-up.

CONCLUSION: Short-term and intermediate efficacy of POEM and PD for treating achalasia in patients aged ≥ 65 years was comparable. A large scale, randomized study with long-term follow-up is necessary in order to make a definitive conclusion.

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