The value of scoring achalasia: a comparison of current systems and the impact on treatment--the surgeon's viewpoint

Am Surg. 2007 Apr;73(4):327-31.


Heller myotomy in patients with achalasia promises better long-term success than pneumatic dilation, especially in younger patients, and therefore has evolved as the primary treatment option. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of different disease-specific severity scores on achalasia treatment. Fifty consecutive patients undergoing pneumatic dilation (n = 25) or myotomy (n = 25) were assessed pre- and postinterventionally by clinical evaluation using the Eckardt Score, the Vantrappen Classification, and the Adams's Stages, as well as by radiologic and manometric studies and by subjective evaluation. The Eckardt Score and the Vantrappen Classification correlated significantly with each other. The Eckardt Score, because of its widest range and interval-level measurement properties converting the score to the Eckardt Stages, tends toward being the most useful system for clinical practice. The indication for myotomy or dilation therapy can not be set by a specific cut-off point in any system and remains an individual decision, including the aspects of the patient's age and failed prior options.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Dilatation
  • Esophageal Achalasia / epidemiology*
  • Esophageal Achalasia / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manometry
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index*