Achalasia symptom response after Heller myotomy segregated by high-resolution manometry subtypes

Amit Patel, Ami Patel, Faiz A. Mirza, Samad Soudagar, Gregory S. Sayuk, C. Prakash Gyawali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-118
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Achalasia
  • Heller myotomy
  • High-resolution manometry

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