Repeat per-oral endoscopic myotomy is occasionally performed for persistent/recurrent symptoms in patients with achalasia, and yields favorable outcomes. We investigated a novel technique, per-oral endoscopic dual myotomy (dual-POEM), where a second myotomy was performed during a single session to augment the efficacy and avoid repeat interventions. The aim of this study was to evaluate its feasibility, safety and efficacy.
Consecutive patients diagnosed with achalasia who underwent dual-POEM (1/2018-5/2019) were prospectively collected and retrospectively analyzed. Patients with baseline Eckardt score ≥ 9, ≥ 10 years of symptoms, and/or having prior interventions other than myotomy received dual-POEM. The primary outcome was clinical success (Eckardt score ≤ 3). Secondary outcomes were procedure-related adverse events, change in lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure, and reflux complications.
Seventeen patients received dual-POEM. Procedure-related adverse events were observed in 2 (11.8%) patients (mucosal injury and pneumonitis). Both were minor in severity. During a median follow-up of 33 months (interquartile range, IQR [31,35]; range, 19-36), clinical success was achieved in 16 (94.1%) patients. The median Eckardt score decreased from 9 (IQR [8, 11.5]; range 7-12) to 1 (IQR [1, 2]; range 0-4) (P < 0.001), and LES pressure decreased from 25.8 mmHg (IQR [21.7, 33.5]; range 17.7-46.3) to 7.4 mmHg (IQR [6.3, 10.4]; range 2.2-12.6) (P < 0.001). Seven (41.2%) patients developed postprocedural reflux either by gastroesophageal reflux disease questionnaire or esophagitis endoscopically, all successfully treated with proton pump inhibitors.
Dual-POEM preliminarily demonstrated high efficacy with a favorable safety profile in patients with achalasia with predictors of treatment failure.

© 2021. The Author(s).