Background: Botulinum toxin injection into the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) treats dysphagia syndromes with preserved peristalsis and incomplete LES relaxation (LESR). We evaluated clinical and esophageal motor characteristics predicting response, and compared duration of efficacy to similarly treated achalasia patients. Methods: Thirty-six subjects (59 ± 2.2 years, 19F/17M) with incomplete LESR on high resolution manometry (HRM) treated with botulinum toxin injection were identified. Individual and composite symptom indices were calculated, and HRM characteristics extracted. Symptom resolution for 6 months was a primary outcome measure, and repeat botulinum toxin injection, dysphagia recurrence or employment of alternate therapeutic approaches were secondary outcome measures. Duration of response was compared using Kaplan-Meier survival curves to a historical cohort of similarly treated achalasia subjects. Key Results: Response lasted a mean of 12.8 ± 2.3 months. Symptom relief for >6 months was seen in 58.3%; short (<6 months) response was associated with younger age, higher chest pain index, and esophageal body spastic features (P ≤ 0.04). On multivariate logistic regression, chest pain, younger age and contraction amplitudes >180 mmHg independently predicted <6 months relief (P < 0.05 for each). On survival analysis, relief with a single injection extended to 1 year in 54.8% and 1.5 years in 49.8%, statistically equivalent to that reported by 42 similarly treated achalasia subjects (59 ± 3.2 years, 24F/18M). Symptom relief was more prolonged compared to achalasia when repeat injections were performed on demand (P = 0.003).Conclusions & Inferences Botulinum toxin injections can provide lasting symptom relief in dysphagia syndromes with incomplete LESR. Prominent perceptive symptoms and non-specific spastic features may predict shorter relief.
- Botulinum toxin
- Lower esophageal sphincter relaxation error