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July 9, 2019

Peroral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM) vs Pneumatic Dilation: Establishing a New Therapeutic Option for Achalasia

Author Affiliations
  • 1School of Medicine, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2019;322(2):119-120. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.8858

Achalasia is a rare esophageal motor disorder, with a prevalence of approximately 10 cases per 100 000 adults,1 and is characterized by progressive degeneration of ganglion cells in the myenteric plexus of the esophagus that leads to insufficient swallow-induced relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and absence of peristalsis along the esophageal body.1 Consequently, the passage of food from the esophagus to the stomach is impaired and results in symptoms of solid and liquid food dysphagia, regurgitation, chest pain, pulmonary complications, and weight loss.