Which endoscopic findings are characteristic of achalasia?

Updated: Dec 29, 2017
  • Author: Eric A Gaumnitz, MD; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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In patients with achalasia, mucosal changes due to chronic irritation and food stagnation include erythema, friable mucosa, ulceration, and candidal infection. The LES is closed tightly and does not open with air insufflation, but the endoscope can pass into the stomach with gentle mechanical pressure. Conversely, a feeling of resistance or stiffness at the gastroesophageal junction suggests another diagnosis (eg, malignancy, stricture). If resistance is felt or mucosal changes are noted, biopsies should be obtained.

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