Objective: The association of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) insensitivity with achalasia and alacrimia (Allgrove syndrome, 3A) constitutes a rare multisystem disorder. Its evolution is not well known. The aim of this study was to describe clinical and esophageal manometric characteristics and outcomes in Allgrove syndrome.
Patients and Methods: This multicenter retrospective study compared clinical and manometric characteristics at diagnosis and on follow-up of 9 children presenting with 3A (mean age at diagnosis 7.1 years) with those of 9 children with idiopathic achalasia (IA) (mean age at diagnosis 8.3 years).
Results: At the time of diagnosis, 3 children with 3A presented with no digestive or respiratory signs because they were identified during a family screening; 1 remained asymptomatic 8 years later. ACTH levels were high in patients with 3A. All of the patients with IA were symptomatic at diagnosis. No significant difference was observed when comparing any of the manometric parameters of the first esophageal manometry of 3A with those of IA. Seven children with 3A were operated on using the Heller procedure, completed by pneumatic esophageal dilation in 2 of these 7. One patient with 3A was treated only by nifedipine. Failure of treatment was observed in 3 children with 3A and 1 child with IA, partial success in 4 with 3A and 1 with IA, and total success in 2 with 3A and 7 with IA (P < 0.03). Control manometry showed that in the 3A group, partial success after surgery was always associated with abnormally low or normal lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure, whereas failure after surgery was associated with high LES pressure.
Conclusions: Our data showed that 3A presented a more severe course than IA despite presymptomatic diagnosis in cases of family screening. The high LES pressure noted in some patients with 3A is suggestive of a peculiar pattern in 3A affecting the LES and the lower part of the esophagus.
*Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, and Reference Center for Congenital and Malformation Esophageal Diseases, Jeanne de Flandre University Hospital, Lille
†Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Armand Trousseau Hospital, Paris, France
‡Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Queen Fabiola Children's, Hospital, Brussels, Belgium
§Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, and Reference Center for Congenital and Malformation Esophageal Diseases, Jeanne de Flandre University Hospital, Lille, France.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Bakr Alhussaini, Dept of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Jeanne de Flandre University Hospital, Av Eugène Avinée, 59037 Lille Cedex, France (e-mail: Bakrhilal@yahoo.com).
Received 11 August, 2010
Accepted 3 February, 2011
The authors report no conflicts of interest.