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Achalasia - with bird beak sign

Case contributed by Dr Andrew Ho


36 years old female with longstanding sensation of food "stuck in her chest" and halitosis.

Patient Data

Age: 35 years
Gender: Female

Rapid sequence fluoroscopic images from a barium esophagogram reveal a persistently dilated esophagus with an air-fluid level at the lower esophagus and classic "bird-beaking" at the gastroesophageal (GE) junction, despite normal primary peristaltic waves.

Case Discussion

Achalasia can be divided into primary and secondary (pseudoachalasia):

  • primary achalasia is a smooth muscle motility disorder of the esophagus.
  • secondary achalasia is abnormal stricturing of the gastroesophageal junction, such as tumor compression or Chagas disease.

Esophagogram is important in the evaluation of motility,  reflux, and aspiration.

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Case information

rID: 23032
Published: 15th May 2013
Last edited: 19th Nov 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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