Esophageal achalasia and pregnancy: own observations in 43 patients and a review of the literature
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Little is known concerning the interaction of achalasia and pregnancy and about an optimal time and type for treatment. Achalatic women of our collective of patients with at least one pregnancy in their history resulting in confinement or miscarriage were invited for a structured interview.
Materials and methods
43 of 109 female patients were included. Questionnaire contained questions on symptoms, type of symptoms, whether patients could link a specific event with outbreak of disease. Date of primary diagnosis and individual therapies were double checked against our documentation as well as duration of complaints and kind of therapy. Patients were asked about their obstetric history, whether and how symptoms had changed, and during which pregnancy week symptoms have occurred. Temporal correlation of the diagnosis of achalasia and pregnancy was investigated.
There was no relationship between pregnancy and onset of achalasia. Risk of subfertility, undernourishment, premature birth, or miscarriage does not seem to be increased in achalasia. Health condition often worsened significantly during pregnancy, mainly in the first trimester and particularly in the untreated patients.
It is advisable to clarify the diagnosis if symptoms suspicious of an achalasia are present before a planned pregnancy. In case of manifest achalasia, surgical treatment should be performed before pregnancy and the improvement in the state of health should be anticipated, as, otherwise, a considerable deterioration of the symptoms during pregnancy may occur. Scientific impact of our observations is very limited and prospective clinical trials are required.
KeywordsAchalasia Pregnancy Laparoscopic myotomy Pneumatic dilatation Vomiting Breathing difficulties
Statistical package for the social sciences
Week of gestation
TV: manuscript writing, data analysis. RMW: data collection, data analysis. OG: data management. SL: data management. HF: project development. BK: project development
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare in connection with this article.