Peroral endoscopic myotomy is a safe and effective treatment modality for geriatric patients with achalasia.Esophagus. 2020 Oct; 17(4):484-491.E
Peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) is an appealing treatment for older patients, as it is minimally invasive but highly efficacious similar to surgical myotomy. However, there is a lack of systematic studies analyzing POEM outcomes in young (< 65 years) versus geriatric patients (≥ 65 years). Hence, we aimed to compare the safety and efficacy of POEM in young versus geriatric patients.
Records of all achalasia patients who underwent POEM at our institution between April 2014 and May 2019 were reviewed. Patients were categorized into two groups: young (< 65 years) and old (≥ 65 years). Demographic and procedural details, timed barium esophagram (TBE), high-resolution manometry (HREM), pH study findings and Eckardt scores were compared between the two groups. Post-POEM Eckhardt score of ≤ 3 was defined as treatment success.
A total of 148 patients met the study criteria (young = 93; old = 55). Younger patients were more likely to have lower TBE height at 1 min but wider TBE width at 5 min. The rest of the pre-operative parameters and Eckardt scores were similar in the two groups. Young patients were more likely to have undergone prior Heller myotomy, while Botox injections were common in the older group. The operative details and outcomes were similar in the two groups. Treatment success rates were similar in both groups (94.9% young vs. 94.7% in old patients, p = 1.00). At 2-month follow-up, both groups showed significant improvements in Eckhardt scores and HREM parameters; however, older patients showed greater improvement in TBE height at 1 and 5 min. The rates of symptomatic GERD and abnormal esophageal pH study findings were similar in the two groups.
POEM was safe and highly effective treatment for geriatric patients with achalasia. These findings suggest that POEM might emerge as the preferred approach for myotomy in this patient population.