Achalasia is a well-defined esophageal motor disorder for which pneumatic dilation is an established therapeutic method.
Even though it has been used for several years, there are limited data on the long-term outcomes of patients treated with this procedure.
Hence, Dr Karamanolis and colleagues from Athens, Greece undertook a study in order to evaluate the long-term efficacy of pneumatic dilation to control the symptoms of achalasia.
The research team reviewed the medical records of all patients treated in 1 unit for achalasia with pneumatic dilation.
The researchers identified the long-term result of the initial procedure, the date of the first dilation, and the time interval between dilation and retreatment.
|Overall, 50% of patients develop recurring symptoms after 11 yrs|
|The American Journal of Gastroenterology|
Of 260 patients who were treated with pneumatic dilation, the researchers were able to follow up 153 participants (67 men, 86 women) for more than 5 yrs.
The mean follow-up period was 11.09 ± 3.91 yr, and the success rate of the dilation was 76%.
Among these patients, 35 (19 men, 16 women) had follow-up periods of more than 15 yrs.
The mean follow-up time of those patients was 16.56 ± 1.09 yr, and the success rate was 51%.
Using kaplan-Meier survival analysis, the researchers showed that, overall, 50% of patients develop recurring symptoms after 11 yrs.
Dr Karamanolis concluded, "Although 51% of patients continued to be in clinical remission more than 15 yrs after the initial pneumatic dilation, the long-term success rate of pneumatic dilation seems to drop progressively with time."