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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2016, Article ID 2657876, 4 pages
Research Article

Imaging in the Evaluation of Endoscopic or Surgical Treatment for Achalasia

1Radiology Department, IRCCS “Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza”, San Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia, Italy
2Radiology Department, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy
3Radiology Department, Second University of Naples, Napoli, Italy
4Radiology Department, “V. Monaldi” Hospital, Napoli, Italy
5Radiology Department, Pineta Grande Medical Center, Castel Volturno, Caserta, Italy

Received 19 June 2015; Accepted 13 September 2015

Academic Editor: Lorenzo Mannelli

Copyright © 2016 Diego Palladino et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. Aim of the study is to evaluate the efficacy of the endoscopic (pneumatic dilation) versus surgical (Heller myotomy) treatment in patients affected by esophageal achalasia using barium X-ray examination of the digestive tract performed before and after the treatment. Materials and Methods. 19 patients (10 males and 9 females) were enrolled in this study; each patient underwent a barium X-ray examination to evaluate the esophageal diameter and the height of the barium column before and after endoscopic or surgical treatment. Results. The mean variation of oesophageal diameter before and after treatment is −2.1 mm for surgery and 1.74 mm for pneumatic dilation (OR 0.167, CI 95% 0.02–1.419, and : 0.10). The variations of all variables, with the exception of the oesophageal diameter variation, are strongly related to the treatment performed. Conclusions. The barium X-ray study of the digestive tract, performed before and after different treatment approaches, demonstrates that the surgical treatment has to be considered as the treatment of choice of achalasia, reserving endoscopic treatment to patients with high operative risk and refusing surgery.