Esophagomyotomy, long recognized as an effective method of treating achalasia, has been used with some success in patients with diffuse spasm of the esophagus, Arthur M. Olsen, MD, told a Symposium on the Stomach and Related Areas.
Olsen, professor of medicine, Mayo Foundation, University of Minnesota Medical School, reported to the 13th Hahnemann Symposium in Philadelphia that motility tracings following operation almost invariably revealed marked improvement in the motility disturbance.
Nevertheless, the treatment of diffuse spasm remains a difficult problem and good or excellent results using esophagomyotomy have been obtained in only about two thirds of the patients, Olsen added.
"The poor results appear to occur in individuals who are extremely unstable from a nervous and emotional standpoint or who have associated gastrointestinal conditions such as peptic ulcer or biliary disease," Olsen said.
Other methods of treating diffuse spasm have been rather unsatisfactory, Olsen said. "Occasionally a patient will respond