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ABDOMINAL RADIOLOGY Table of Contents   
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 288-295
Primary versus secondary achalasia: New signs on barium esophagogram


1 Department of Radiology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Gastroenterology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Uma Debi
Department of Gastroenterology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-3026.161465

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Aim: To investigate new signs on barium swallow that can differentiate primary from secondary achalasia. Materials and Methods: Records of 30 patients with primary achalasia and 17 patients with secondary achalasia were reviewed. Clinical, endoscopic, and manometric data was recorded. Barium esophagograms were evaluated for peristalsis and morphology of distal esophageal segment (length, symmetry, nodularity, shouldering, filling defects, and "tram-track sign"). Results: Mean age at presentation was 39 years in primary achalasia and 49 years in secondary achalasia. The mean duration of symptoms was 3.5 years in primary achalasia and 3 months in secondary achalasia. False-negative endoscopic results were noted in the first instance in five patients. In the secondary achalasia group, five patients had distal esophageal segment morphology indistinguishable from that of primary achalasia. None of the patients with primary achalasia and 35% patients with secondary achalasia had a length of the distal segment approaching combined height of two vertebral bodies. None of the patients with secondary achalasia and 34% patients with primary achalasia had maximum caliber of esophagus approaching combined height of two vertebral bodies. Tertiary contractions were noted in 90% patients with primary achalasia and 24% patients with secondary achalasia. Tram-track sign was found in 55% patients with primary achalasia. Filling defects in the distal esophageal segment were noted in 94% patients with secondary achalasia. Conclusion: Length of distal esophageal segment, tertiary contractions, tram-track sign, and filling defects in distal esophageal segment are useful esophagographic features distinguishing primary from secondary achalasia.


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