Skip Navigation LinksHome > December 2013 - Volume 21 - Issue 6 > Cricopharyngeal achalasia in children: indications for trea...
Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head & Neck Surgery:
doi: 10.1097/01.moo.0000436789.29814.62

Cricopharyngeal achalasia in children: indications for treatment and management options

Huoh, Kevin C.a; Messner, Anna H.b

Collapse Box


Purpose of review: Cricopharyngeal achalasia (CPA) is an infrequently encountered but important diagnosis in pediatric dysphagia. This disorder is characterized by difficulty in feeding, regurgitation of feeds, and recurrent aspiration episodes. In this review, we discuss the current understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease and the recent developments in the diagnosis and therapeutic management of CPA.

Recent findings: Because of the rarity of the disease, the literature reporting the treatment of CPA is limited to small case series. Although open surgical treatments including cricopharyngeal myotomy have been reported in the past, recent studies advocate less-invasive endoscopic approaches, including balloon dilation, endoscopic cricopharyngeal myotomy, and botulinum toxin injections.

Summary: When CPA is suspected as a cause of dysphagia in a child, the diagnosis can be confirmed with videofluoroscopic swallow studies that demonstrate narrowing at the region of the cricopharyngeus muscle. Treatment should be initiated for children who are unable to feed orally. Current options for treatment include botulinum toxin injections, endoscopic balloon dilation, and open or endoscopic cricopharyngeal myotomy. All techniques have shown success in the treatment of the disease. Further studies comparing treatment modalities are needed before a clear recommendation can be made.

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


Article Tools


Article Level Metrics

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.