Health-related quality of life and physiological measurements in achalasia

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Abstract

Summary

The diagnosis of achalasia is generally made based on patient symptoms, the appearance of the esophagus on endoscopy and barium esophagogram, and esophageal manometry. In addition, timed barium esophagography (TBE) can give useful information on the clearance of liquid barium over a 10 minute period and the passage of a barium tablet. What is unclear is how well these physiological measurements of esophageal function correlate with patient-perceived health-related quality of life. Our aim was to assess whether objective physiological measurements of high-resolution manometry (HRM) and TBE will correlate with quantitative achalasia-related health-related quality of life (HRQoL) measurements. Patients referred for possible surgical treatment of achalasia were assessed preoperatively in the following manner. A gastroenterologist and surgeon clinically evaluated all patients. In addition to history and physical examination, patients underwent further testing with TBE, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, and HRM. The diagnosis of achalasia was based on HRM. Prior to surgical treatment, patients completed the ‘Measure of Achalasia Disease Severity’ (ADS) which is a validated instrument assessing the severity of achalasia-associated HRQoL. Hundred and twenty patients were included in this study. The mean ADS score was 24.9 ± 3.6. There was no statistically significant difference in score among the achalasia types: I, 24.0 ± 4.3; II, 25.4 ± 3.2; III, 24.3 ± 4.6. Using linear regression analysis, there was no statistically significant correlation between ADS scores and TBE column height or width at 1 and 5 minutes. There was no statistically significant difference between patients who could pass a 13 mm barium tablet (26.4 ± 3.4) and those who could not (24.9 ± 3.6). There was no statistically significant correlation between LES pressure and IRP with ADS scores. There is poor correlation between patient-perceived health-related quality of life and objective physiological measurements of achalasia. Therefore, the assessment of treatment outcomes of achalasia will need to require both an assessment of esophageal physiology as well as HRQoL.

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