Background: Achalasia is classified into three HRM subtypes that predict outcomes from diverse management strategies. We assessed if symptomatic response varied when a single management strategy—Heller myotomy (HM)—is employed. Methods: Treatment-naive subjects with achalasia referred for HM were followed in this observational cohort study. Chicago criteria designated achalasia subtypes (subtype I: no esophageal pressurization; subtype II: panesophageal pressurization in ≥20 % swallows; subtype III: premature contractions in ≥20 % swallows). Symptom questionnaires assessed symptom burden before and after HM on five-point Likert scales (0 = no symptoms, 4 = severe symptoms) and on 10-cm visual analog scales (global symptom severity, GSS); satisfaction with HM was recorded similarly. Data were analyzed to determine predictors of GSS change across subtypes. Results: Sixty achalasia subjects (56.1 ± 2.4 years, 55 % female) fulfilled inclusion criteria, 15 % with subtype I, 58 % with subtype II, and 27 % with subtype III achalasia. Baseline symptoms included dysphagia (solids: 85 %, liquids: 73 %), regurgitation (84 %), and chest pain (35 %); mean GSS was 7.1 ± 0.3. Upon follow-up 2.1 ± 0.2 years after HM, GSS declined to 1.9 ± 0.4 (p < 0.001), with surgical satisfaction score of 8.7 ± 0.3 out of 10; these were similar across achalasia subtypes. On univariate analysis, female gender, Eckardt score, severity of transit symptoms, and maximal IRP predicted linear GSS improvement; female gender (p = 0.003) and dysphagia for liquids (p = 0.043) remained predictive on multivariate analysis. Conclusions: When a uniform surgical approach is utilized, symptomatic outcome and satisfaction with therapy are similar across achalasia subtypes. Female gender and severity of dysphagia for solids may predict better HM outcome.
- Heller myotomy
- High-resolution manometry