Long-term Efficacy of Combined Treatment in Patients with Idiopathic Achalasia

Maryam Jameshorani, Amir Anushiravani, Narges Fazlollahi, Ahmad Hormati, Mohammad Amani, Javad Mikaeli



Several treatment strategies are available to treat achalasia. Although combined therapy has been used for several years, there are limited data on long-term outcomes. We aimed to determine its long-term efficacy in patients who were resistant or those with rapid relapse.


In this prospective study, we reviewed the records of 1100 patients with achalasia, who were candidates for pneumatic balloon dilatation (PBD) in our center from 1996 to 2018. We enrolled 197 patients resistant to initial treatment or with rapid relapse of symptoms after three sessions of PBD. Clinical evaluation and time barium esophagogram (TBE) were done before treatment, a month afterward, and when clinical symptoms increased in order to confirm relapse, and at the end of follow-up.


A total of 168 patients accepted combined therapy. The mean duration of follow-up was 9.04 years. Achalasia symptom score (ASS) dropped from 10.82 to 3.62 a month after treatment and was 3.09 at the end of the follow-up (p=0.0001 and 0.001). TBE had a decrease in mean height of barium one month after treatment (9.23 vs. 5.10, p =0.001), and this reduction persisted until the end of follow-up (3.39, p = 0.001). Vantrappen score at the end of the follow-up showed 56 patients in excellent, 51 in good, 33 in moderate, and 14 in poor condition (89% acceptable response rate).


Our results showed the long-term efficacy of combined treatment in patients with achalasia who otherwise had to undergo a high-risk and costly procedure, which makes it a safe and effective alternative for myotomy.



Therapeutics, Esophageal achalasia, Long-term care

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