Esophageal perforation after pneumatic dilatation for achalasia: why?
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UNLABELLED: A retrospective study was performed to asses risk factors in patients with esophageal achalasia undergoing pneumatic dilatation. Of 140 patients who underwent 159 dilatations, 7 sustained esophageal perforation (4.4%). They were matched with a group of 52 non perforated, dilated achalasia patients. History of prior pneumatic dilatation and small esophageal diameter were found to be risk factors by chi square and ANOVA. CONCLUSIONS: 1) Pneumatic dilatation for esophageal achalasia is a procedure with 4.4% risk of perforation and 0.6% mortality rate. 2) The risk of developing an esophageal perforation is increased by previous pneumatic dilatation and small esophageal diameter. Another risk factor such as a possible anatomical weakness of the esophageal wall (and the likelihood of it being evaluated by ultrasonography) at the site of perforation is suggested.
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