Cricopharyngeal achalasia in children: Botulinum toxin injection as a tool for diagnosis and treatment

Authors

  • Melissa A. Scholes MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colorado
    2. Department of Otolaryngology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado
    • Send correspondence to Melissa A. Scholes, MD, Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Children's Hospital Colorado, 13123 East 16th Avenue, B205, Aurora, CO 80045. E-mail: melissa.scholes@childrenscolorado.org

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  • Timothy McEvoy MD,

    1. Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A
    2. Department of Otolaryngology, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A
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  • Hayat Mousa MD,

    1. Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A
    2. Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A
    3. Department of Otolaryngology, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A
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  • Gregory J. Wiet MD

    1. Department of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A
    2. Department of Otolaryngology, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A
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  • The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis

Characteristics and outcomes of pediatric patients undergoing cricopharyngeus injection with botulinum toxin for the treatment of cricopharyngeal achalasia were reviewed. A parental telephone survey was performed to assess improvement and satisfaction.

Study Design

Retrospective review of patients who underwent injection of the cricopharyngeus with botulinum toxin for cricopharyngeal achalasia. A prospective survey of postoperative symptoms and parental satisfaction was also performed.

Methods

After institutional review board approval, children with cricopharyngeal achalasia who underwent injection with botulinum toxin were identified. Specific parameters were recorded for each patient. A survey of the parents' satisfaction and subjective improvement was then conducted.

Results

Six children were identified with cricopharyngeal achalasia, with an age range of 3 months to 10 years. Symptoms varied and five of the six children required some form of altered nutrition. Preoperative studies varied, and the number of injections ranged from one to three per patient. One child had transient worsening of aspiration. Two children benefited from injections and went on to myotomy, while four children did not require myotomy and their symptoms were treated with injections alone.

A parental survey was performed via telephone. All parents were satisfied with the procedure. Three children were symptom-free, and three children still exhibit some dysphagia.

Conclusions

Botulinum toxin injection is a useful tool to help diagnose and treat pediatric cricopharyngeal achalasia. More research is needed to elucidate optimal dosing, frequency of injections, and when to move on to surgical intervention.

Level of Evidence

4. Laryngoscope, 124:1475–1480, 2014

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