Remission of arthritis after esophagectomy in three patients with severe achalasia

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In the 1960s and 1970s, intestinal bypass surgery was performed to treat patients with extreme obesity. However, this is now done with great restriction due to the risk of complications, for instance, polyarthritis. An association between severe achalasia and arthritis has also been described, but very few articles on this topic are cited in PubMed, and most of the published case reports are old.

In this article, we present a retrospective case series of three patients with severe achalasia and arthritis from the departments of rheumatology and surgery at a university hospital. The complaints from the esophagus as well as arthritis were resolved after esophagectomy and esophageal reconstruction. We conclude that severe achalasia can be associated with arthritis, and both can be cured by esophageal reconstruction. Thus, we want to remind of this rare, but probably largely unrecognized, association between achalasia and joint disease.

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