Ethanolamine oleate in resistant idiopathic achalasia: a novel therapy

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, 11/22/2011

Niknam R et al. - This study indicates that Ethanolamine oleate (EO) is well tolerated and potentially effective in patients with Idiopathic achalasia (IA) that might be explained by the local inflammatory properties of EO. As presented data are too preliminary to support the routine use of EO in the treatment of all patients with IA; its use in selected cases can be considered.


  • One hundred and thirty-six patients with IA were evaluated prospectively.
  • The authors evaluated the efficacy of EO injection in 13 patients with IA that are resistant to or a poor candidate of pneumatic balloon dilation and/or cardiomyotomy at the Digestive Disease Research Center, Shariati Hospital, Tehran, as the major referral center for achalasia in Iran in an interventional study.
  • Diluted EO was injected in a divided dose into each of four quadrants of lower esophageal sphincter, using a standard sclerotherapy needle.
  • Injection was repeated at 2 and 4 weeks after first injection.
  • The patients were evaluated with achalasia symptom score (ASS) and timed barium esophagogram (TBE) before and after injections.
  • Good response was defined as a decrease in ASS of at least 50% of baseline and decrease in height and volume of barium of at least 50% of baseline in TBE, at 1.5 months after the last injection.
  • Side-effects were recorded.


  • All patients (13 cases) had good ASS (decreased, ≥50%) and good TBE (decreased in height and volume of barium, ≥50%) response rate.
  • The mean ASS decreased from 11.38 (±1.5) to 3.23 (±1.96) at 1.5 months after the last injection (P=0.001).
  • The mean volume of barium in TBE decreased from 81.38 ml (±51.11) to 40.69 ml (±61.22) at 1.5 months after the last injection (P=0.016).
  • The mean duration of follow-up was 17.83 (±1.12) months.
  • Symptoms of six patients relapsed; all of them were treated effectively with reinjection.

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