Esophageal achalasia in adolescence - two case reports


  • Inês Vaz Silva Pediatric Service of Hospital Vila Franca de Xira
  • Rita Belo Morais Pediatric Service of Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Ocidental
  • Patrícia Ferreira Pediatric Service of Hospital Vila Franca de Xira
  • Florbela Cunha Pediatric Service of Hospital Vila Franca de Xira



achalasia, adolescent, eating disorders


Introduction: Achalasia is a rare disorder, particularly in pediatrics, characterized by esophageal aperistalsis and inadequate relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter. Its etiology remains unclear.

Cases: We describe two adolescents with dysphagia for solids and liquids, vomiting, weight loss and nocturnal cough for a few months. Initially it was considered to be an eating disorder, and the diagnosis of achalasia was reached later by esophageal manometry in one case and by intraoperative biopsy in another. The patients were submitted to Heller myotomy with an antireflux procedure, laparoscopically in one case, and by laparotomy in another, both with a favorable outcome.

Discussion/Conclusions: We emphasize the rarity and diagnostic challenge of these cases. The nonspecific symptoms often lead to the diagnosis of an eating disorder, delaying the correct treatment. If symptoms persist achalasia must be considered and the esophageal manometry is the diagnostic test of choice. The gold standard in treatment is surgical, and we highlight the effectiveness of the techniques applied.


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How to Cite

Silva IV, Morais RB, Ferreira P, Cunha F. Esophageal achalasia in adolescence - two case reports. REVNEC [Internet]. 2016Feb.22 [cited 2023Dec.3];24(1):24-9. Available from:



Case Reports