Introduction: We aimed to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the impact of chronic opioid exposure on esophageal motility in patients undergoing manometric evaluation.
Methods: Multiple databases were searched through October 2022 for original studies comparing the manometric results of patients who have used chronic opioids (for >90 days) with those who do not. The primary outcomes were esophageal dysmotility disorders. Three high-resolution manometry parameters were conducted as secondary outcomes. A random-effects model was applied to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and means difference (MD) along with a 95% confidence interval (CI).
Results: Nine studies were included in this meta-analysis. Opioid use was associated with higher esophageal dysmotility disorders, including distal esophageal spasm (pooled OR 4.84, 95% CI 1.60-14.63, P = 0.005, I 2 = 96%), esophagogastric junction outflow obstruction (pooled OR 5.13, 95% CI 2.11-12.43, P = 0.0003, I 2 = 93%), and type III achalasia (pooled OR 4.15, 95% CI 2.15-8.03, P < 0.0001, I 2 = 64%). No significant differences were observed for hypercontractile esophagus, type I achalasia, or type II achalasia. The basal lower esophageal sphincter pressure (MD 3.02, 95% CI 1.55-4.50, P < 0.0001, I 2 = 90%), integrated relaxation pressure (MD 2.51, 95% CI 1.56-3.46, P < 0.00001, I 2 = 99%), and distal contractile integral (MD 640.29, 95% CI 469.56-811.03, P < 0.00001, I 2 = 91%) significantly differed between the opioid use and nonopioid use group. However, opioid use was associated with a lower risk of ineffective esophageal motility (pooled OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.49-0.95, P = 0.02, I 2 = 53%).
Discussion: Chronic opioid exposure is associated with an increased frequency esophageal dysmotility disorders. Our results revealed that opioid use is significantly associated with type III achalasia but not with type I and II achalasia. Therefore, opioid treatment should be taken into account as a potential underlying risk factor when diagnosing these major esophageal motor abnormalities.
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