Progression of diffuse esophageal spasm to achalasia: incidence and predictive factors

Authors


Dr Luiz Henrique de Souza Fontes, MD, Department of Gastroenterology – Clinical Gastroenterology, University of São Paulo School of Medicine and Public Servants State Hospital, São Paulo, Brazil 05403-000. Email: luizhsfontes@gmail.com

SUMMARY

The progression of certain primary esophageal motor disorders to achalasia has been documented; however, the true incidence of this decay is still elusive. This study aims to evaluate: (i) the incidence of the progression of diffuse esophageal spasm to achalasia, and (ii) predictive factors to this progression. Thirty-five patients (mean age 53 years, 80% females) with a manometric picture of diffuse esophageal spasm were followed for at least 1 year. Patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease confirmed by pH monitoring or systemic diseases that may affect esophageal motility were excluded. Esophageal manometry was repeated in all patients. Five (14%) of the patients progressed to achalasia at a mean follow-up of 2.1 (range 1–4) years. Demographic characteristics were not predictive of transition to achalasia, while dysphagia (P= 0.005) as the main symptom and the wave amplitude of simultaneous waves less than 50 mmHg (P= 0.003) were statistically significant. In conclusion, the transition of diffuse esophageal spasm to achalasia is not frequent at a 2-year follow-up. Dysphagia and simultaneous waves with low amplitude are predictive factors for this degeneration.

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