Oropharyngeal swallowing functions are impaired in patients with naive-achalasia

Baha S., Sibel E. , Duygu D., Ezgi K., Tayfun K., Serhat B.

EUROPEAN ARCHIVES OF OTO-RHINO-LARYNGOLOGY, vol.277, no.4, pp.1219-1226, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 277 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00405-020-05800-7
  • Page Numbers: pp.1219-1226


Background It is generally accepted that achalasia is limited to the pathology of the esophageal body and lower esophageal sphincter. However, patients with achalasia still have symptoms such as aspiration and weight loss after even a succesfull treatment, suggesting that additional oropharyngeal pathologies may be frequent in patients with achalasia. Objective The aim of the study was to assess the oropharyngeal/hypopharyngeal swallowing functions of patients with naive-achalasia. Methods We evaluated the oropharyngeal functions with fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) and high-resolution manometry (HRM) in 36 patients with naive-achalasia(mean age 47.8 +/- 14.7; 20F, 20M) diagnosed with and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, HRM, radiology compared the results with 40 healthy volunteers (mean age 48.25 +/- 12.37; 23F, 17M) as controls. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory (MDADI) were used for psychological analysis and to assess quality of life. Results Mean integrated relaxation pressure (IRP) values were significantly higher (12.7 +/- 10.9) for all patients compared to controls (0 +/- 4.40). In the presence of pharyngeal residue IRP was 18.6 +/- 11.8 mmHg compare to patients without pharyngeal residue which was 7.2 +/- 6.4 mmHg (p < 0.05). Resting pressures were 105.7 +/- 60.4 mmHg in study group vs 116 +/- 55.1 mmHg in the control group (NS). In the study group we determined that residues of semisolid and liquid food were significantly higher in the vallecula, retrocricoid region, pharyngeal wall, and piriform sinuses with FEES. The average MDADI score was 58.1 +/- 19.8 and 87.6 +/- 10.7 in the study and control groups, respectively (p < 0.05). Depression may be significantly higher in achalasia patients based on the BDI. Conclusion Relaxation of the upper esophageal sphincter is insufficient especially in patient with residue. This finding is supported by the presence of residue during FEES evaluation. In the assessment of patients with achalasia, in the presence of residue symptoms,oropharyngeal phases of swallowing should be examined with FEES. Furthermore, the effect of exercises to improve the pathological findings should be evaluated.