ACG Clinical Guidelines: Diagnosis and Management of Achalasia

Am J Gastroenterol. 2020 Sep;115(9):1393-1411. doi: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000000731.


Achalasia is an esophageal motility disorder characterized by aberrant peristalsis and insufficient relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter. Patients most commonly present with dysphagia to solids and liquids, regurgitation, and occasional chest pain with or without weight loss. High-resolution manometry has identified 3 subtypes of achalasia distinguished by pressurization and contraction patterns. Endoscopic findings of retained saliva with puckering of the gastroesophageal junction or esophagram findings of a dilated esophagus with bird beaking are important diagnostic clues. In this American College of Gastroenterology guideline, we used the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation process to provide clinical guidance on how best to diagnose and treat patients with achalasia.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Disease Management
  • Esophageal Achalasia / diagnosis*
  • Esophageal Achalasia / physiopathology
  • Esophageal Achalasia / therapy*
  • Esophageal Sphincter, Lower / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Manometry
  • Peristalsis / physiology