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Peroral endoscopic myotomy is safe and effective in achalasia patients aged older than 60 years compared with younger patients

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Geriatrics and Gerontology International

Published online on


Aim Peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) has been proven to be effective for treating achalasia, but there are limited data on POEM in elderly patients. We therefore aimed to assess the role of POEM for achalasia in patients aged ≥60 years. Methods All consecutive patients that underwent POEM between December 2011 and November 2015 at a single center were retrospectively reviewed. Patients aged ≥60 years were assigned to group A, whereas patients aged <60 years were assigned to group B. Demographic data, clinical data and treatment outcomes were compared between the two groups. Results During the study period, 113 patients (18 in group A, and 95 in group B) were enrolled. The mean age of patients in group A was 63 ± 3.9 years (range 60–74 years; 55.6% women), and that for patients in group B was 37.7 ± 11.6 years (range 18–59 years; 42.2% women). The procedural time in group A was similar to group B (66.3 ± 33.3 vs 59.8 ± 24.2 min, P = 0.332). There were also no significant differences in the incidence of intraoperative complications (P = 1.000) and gastroesophageal reflux rate (P = 0.906) between the two groups. During the mean follow‐up period of 25.2 months, treatment success (Eckardt score ≤3) was achieved in 92.9% of patients in group A, and 89.9% in group B (P = 1.000). Conclusions As well as in younger patients, POEM can be safely carried out in elderly patients, providing significant symptom relief. POEM might be recommended as the first therapeutic approach to elderly achalasia patients. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2017; ••: ••–••.