Transition from Diffuse Esophageal Spasm to Achalasia

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A 19-year-old man first presented with clinical, radiological, and manometric features of diffuse spasm. Within a year his motility disorder progressed to “vigorous” and, finally, classic achalasia. After pneumatic dilatation and subsequent long myotomy, the features of classic achalasia disappeared and he again exhibited radiological and manometric evidence of “vigorous” achalasia. The evolution of this patient's disease provides evidence that diffuse spasm and achalasia are different stages of the same disease and lie at opposite ends of a spectrum of related esophageal motility disorders.

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