Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 43-47

Efficacy of pneumatic dilatation in Saudi achalasia patients

1 Division of Gastroenterology, King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Division of Gastroenterology, King Khalid University Hospital, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Division of Gastroenterology, McGill University Health Center, Montreal General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Abdulrahman M Aljebreen
Division of Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine Department, King Khalid University Hospital, Po Box 2925, Riyadh - 11461, Saudi Arabia

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Source of Support: The authors extend their sincere appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University for its funding of this research through the Research Group Project number RGP-VPP-279, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.126317

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Background/Aims: Pneumatic dilatation (PD) is one of the effective treatments of achalasia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of pneumatic dilation and patient satisfaction in Saudi achalasia patients. Patients and Methods: We have retrospectively recruited patients with confirmed achalasia, who underwent at least one dilatation session from January 1990 to January 2010 at a single tertiary center. Symptoms, including weight loss, dysphagia, retrosternal pain, and regurgitation, were assessed with the use of the Eckardt score (which ranges from 0 to 12, with higher scores indicating more pronounced symptoms). All patients were called and asked about their Eckardt score in addition to their satisfaction score post the dilatation procedure. The primary outcome was therapeutic success (Eckardt score ≤ 3) and patient satisfaction at the time of their calls. The secondary outcomes included the need for retreatment and the rate of complications. Results: A total of 29 patients were included, with a mean age of 40.30 (95% CI: 36.1-44.6) and 55.2% of them were males. The mean of the pre-dilatation Eckardt score was 8.3 (95% CI: 7.2-9.4), which dropped to 2.59 (95% CI: 1.7-3.5) after PD (P < 0.01) with a clinical remission of 76.7% after the first dilatation and a total failure in two patients (7%) after the third dilatation. The mean number of dilatations was 1.3 (95% CI: 1.1-1.5) where 50.7% required one dilatation, 19.2% required two dilatations, and 30.1% required three dilatations. The mean of the symptoms-free period was 53.4 months (SD 52.7, range 1-180) with symptoms recurring in 35% of patients within 2 years. The mean of post-PD patient satisfaction was 7.45 (95% CI: 6.2-8.7). Perforation, which was treated conservatively, occurred in one patient (3.5%), whereas bleeding occurred in two patients (7%). Age or gender was not found to be a predictor of Eckardt score improvement on multivariate linear regression analysis. Conclusion: PD is an efficacious procedure in Saudi achalasia patients with a very good overall patient satisfaction with 53.4 months of symptoms-free period after a successful dilatation.

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