DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20221555

Long COVID-19 and achalasia: a possible relationship?

Raúl Aponte, Nefertiti Daulabani, Rosargelis Parra, Luis Pérez-Ybarra

Abstract


Achalasia is a rare esophageal motor disorder with a worldwide prevalence of around 10 cases per 100 000 inhabitants, and an incidence of one new case per 100 000 inhabitants per year. It is characterized by loss or decrease of myenteric plexus neurons in the distal esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter, presenting dysphagia and regurgitation. The objective of this work was to show that the presence of type II achalasia could be a sequela of the COVID-19 infection. Patient histories were reviewed during the 2015-2021 period, the frequencies of achalasia with and without COVID-19 were calculated. Patient profiles were constructed by using cluster analysis based on clinical variables. It was found that frequency of patients with achalasia during the years 2020 and 2021 was higher than that observed in previous years, and by the year 2021, 2/3 of the patients with achalasia had presented COVID-19 infection, in addition, the patients with type I achalasia presented different profiles than patients with type II achalasia according to the cluster analysis, and the frequency of COVID-19 was much lower in patients with type I achalasia. These results seem to indicate type II achalasia could be a sequela of COVID-19 infection. The possible etiopathogenic implications of these results are discussed, as well as their clinical relevance.


Keywords


Esophageal achalasia, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 infection

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