Short versus standard peroral endoscopic myotomy for esophageal achalasia: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Authors Sami Ghazaleh, Azizullah Beran, Yasmin Khader, Christian Nehme, Justin Chuang, Sachit Sharma, Muhammad Aziz, Zubair Khan, Ahmed M. Elzanaty, Jordan Burlen, Ali Nawras.


Background Peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) is increasingly used to treat esophageal achalasia, but is associated with a high rate of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The aim of our metaanalysis was to compare short and standard POEM in terms of clinical success and postoperative GERD.

Methods We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that compared POEM using short myotomy with standard myotomy. The primary outcome was clinical success. Secondary outcomes were postoperative GERD, perioperative complications, operation time, and length of hospital stay. A random-effects model was used to calculate the risk ratios (RR), mean differences (MD), and confidence intervals (CI). A P-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results We included 5 studies involving 474 esophageal achalasia patients. Short and standard myotomies were similar in terms of clinical success (RR 1.02, 95%CI 0.97-1.09), perioperative complications (RR 0.68, 95%CI 0.26-1.75), and length of hospital stay (MD 0.25 days, 95%CI -0.14- 0.63). Operation time was shorter for short myotomy (MD -15.01 mins, 95%CI -20.34 - -9.67). Although reflux symptoms were similar (RR 0.94, 95%CI 0.51-1.74), short myotomy had a lower risk of reflux esophagitis on endoscopy (RR 0.61, 95%CI 0.39-0.98), and pathologic acid exposure on pH monitoring (RR 0.58, 95%CI 0.36-0.94).

Conclusions POEM using a shorter myotomy is comparable with standard myotomy in terms of efficacy and safety in the short-term setting. A short myotomy requires a shorter operation time and might reduce the occurrence of postoperative GERD.

Keywords Esophageal achalasia, endoscopy, myotomy, gastroesophageal reflux disease

Ann Gastroenterol 2021; 34 (5): 634-642

Original Articles