Thomas, R. C.; Bramble, M. G.
April 2004
Gut;Apr2004 Supplement 3, Vol. 53, pA57
Academic Journal
It is recognised that patients with achalasia are symptomatic for long periods prior to diagnosis. The average length of time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis is between two and seven years. This may be due to presenting symptoms mimicking other causes. Authors reviewed their own five year experience in a large district general hospital in the north of England to see how long patients had been symptomatic prior to diagnosis, the nature of their symptoms, and treatment. The study showed that the majority of patients are symptomatic for a long time prior to diagnosis. Achalasia is rarely suspected in primary care, most patients are thought to be suffering from gastro-oesophageal reflux diseases. As achalasia is uncommon such attribution of symptoms is not unexpected. However dysphagia in the presence of regurgitation and or failure to respond to acid suppression should alert the general practitioner to the possibility of this condition.


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