Current Opinion in Gastroenterology vol:28 issue:4 pages:389-394
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: In recent years, several studies on the treatment and follow-up of achalasia have been published. This review aims at highlighting interesting publications from the recent years. RECENT FINDINGS: Treatment of achalasia aims at relieving functional obstruction at the level of the esophagogastric junction. Several treatment options such as pneumodilation and laparoscopic Heller myotomy (LHM) are available for this purpose. A large prospective randomized trial comparing pneumodilation and LHM demonstrated comparable success rates and quality of life for the two treatment options. Long-term data demonstrate comparable treatment success rates, when redilation in case of recurrent symptoms after pneumodilation is accepted. The most important risk factor for treatment failure is the manometric subtype, with a worse outcome for type I and type III compared with type II achalasia. Recently, peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) has been described with high success rates. Comparative studies with longer follow-up are awaited. A prospective study assessing the risk of esophageal carcinoma in patients with achalasia showed a 28-fold increased risk to develop carcinoma. SUMMARY: Either LHM or pneumodilation have high comparable short-term clinical success rates. Based on the increased risk to develop esophageal carcinoma, a screening program may be indicated. POEM is a new interesting treatment but longer follow-up data are awaited.