Impact of high-resolution manometry on achalasia diagnosis and treatment
Achalasia is a primary neurodegenerative disorder of the esophagus characterized by loss of function of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and of esophageal peristalsis, which causes symptoms such as dysphagia, regurgitation, weight loss, and chest pain. Esophageal manometry is the gold standard for the diagnosis of achalasia. The typical manometric features are incomplete relaxation of a frequently hypertensive LES and lack of peristalsis in the tubular esophagus. High-resolution manometry using catheters with 36 solid-state sensors spaced 1cm apart has more and more replaced water-perfused and pull-through manometry. However, the main innovation of this method is the conversion of pressure data into a topographical plot. The data can be modified using interpolation to generate high-resolution esophageal pressure topography (HREPT). HREPT is more sensitive, provides more detailed information, and is easier to perform than conventional manometry. Introduction of HREPT had an impact especially on the diagnosis and management of achalasia. A clinically relevant impact was achieved by the identification of 3 clinical subtypes which seem to predict treatment outcomes. This review analyzes the progress made in the diagnosis and management of achalasia since the recent introduction of HREPT.
Keywords Achalasia, high-resolution manometry, esophageal pressure topography, Chicago classification
Ann Gastroenterol 2015; 28 (1): 3-9