Background/aims: To report a large series of patients with strictures from different etiologies who underwent dilation without fluoroscopy.
Methodology: Between 1992 and 2005, 321 patients who underwent 2750 dilation sessions were entered in a database. Dysphagia score, cause and location of the stricture and diameter of the bougies were recorded in every session.
Results: The mean follow-up period was 18.8 months. Stricture was postsurgical in 204 patients, peptic in 60, caustic in 13, postradiotherapy in 13, and from other causes in 31. Clinical response was achieved in 92% of the postsurgical patients; 84% of the caustic injuries; 81% of the peptic patients; and 58% of the radiation injuries (p < 0.05). Absence of dysphagia was obtained in 68, 38, 67 and 27% of these, respectively (p < 0.05). All groups showed a significant improvement in dysphagia score, and 98% of patients in whom a 45F catheter was inserted, achieved clinical response. There were 6 perforations, with 2 deaths.
Conclusions: Endoscopic dilation for benign esophageal strictures without fluoroscopy is safe and effective. Postsurgical patients show excellent results for dilation, and caustic and post-radiotherapy strictures have the worst response. A diameter of 45F is a satisfactory end-point for therapy in the majority of cases.