Chest pain and reappearance of esophageal peristalsis in treated achalasia

M. Papo, F. Mearin, A. Castro, J. R. Armengol, J. R. Malagelada

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Background: We wanted to evaluate the clinical significance of the esophageal peristalsis that appears in some achalasia patients after treatment. Methods: We prospectively investigated the reappearance of esophageal peristalsis in 106 achalasic patients treated with forceful dilatation under endoscopic control (86 metallic dilatations and 20 pneumatic dilatations) and followed up clinically and manometrically for 1 year. Patients were divided in two groups in accordance with the presence (n = 26) or persistent absence (n = 80) of postdilatation esophageal peristalsis. Results: Before treatment, clinical data and manometric findings were comparable in both groups except for esophageal wave amplitude, which was higher in patients with postdilatation peristalsis (36 ± 5 mmHg versus 24 ± 2 mmHg, P < 0.05). One year after dilatation manometric findings were similar in the two groups, but esophageal wave amplitude remained higher in the group with postdilatation peristalsis (46 ± 4 mmHg versus 21 ± 2 mmHg, P < 0.05). The proportion of patients with persistent dysphagia was similar in the two groups (15% versus 12.5%). However, 10 patients with postdilatation peristalsis (38%) complained of chest pain as opposed to only 5 patients (6%) in the group with aperistalsis (P < 0.01). Conclusion: The appearance of esophageal peristalsis after forceful dilatation in achalasic patients is frequently associated with persistent or new chest pain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1190-1194
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997


  • Achalasia
  • Chest pain
  • Dysphagia
  • Esophageal aperistalsis
  • Esophageal peristalsis
  • Metallic dilatation
  • Pneumatic dilatation


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