Background and Aims
Peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) is a procedure with potential for serious adverse events. Postprocedure imaging is routinely done, yet there is no consensus on the optimal imaging protocol. We describe a novel and simple CT esophagram protocol for evaluation after POEM and for reporting the full spectrum of radiographic findings and subsequent interventions.
This was a single-center prospective study of consecutive patients treated with POEM evaluated with CT esophagram.
Eighty-four consecutive patients who had POEM performed underwent CT esophagrams. The most common findings were pneumomediastinum (85.7%), pneumoperitoneum (66.7%), subcutaneous emphysema (52.4%), and pleural effusion (46.4%). Other findings included retroperitoneal air (38.1%), pneumothorax (19%), atelectasis (14.3%), intramural air in the esophagus and/or stomach (13.1%), pericardial effusion (2.4%), and pneumopericardium (2.4%). Five patients required intervention based on CT findings. In 1 patient, a leak was detected on CT esophagram before any clinical manifestation, facilitating prompt intervention and avoiding potential serious outcomes. Four patients were diagnosed with pneumonia and were treated with antibiotics. There was frequent postprocedural atelectasis, which prompted the introduction of routine incentive spirometry in all postoperative POEM cases.
CT esophagram is a simple and accessible imaging test for routine postoperative POEM evaluation. Numerous and dramatic postprocedure radiographic findings may be expected and demonstrated with this imaging modality. Although most of these findings may not require intervention, some are of potential significance, and early identification may help modify postprocedure management. (Clinical trial registration number: NCT01832779.)
Abbreviation:POEM (peroral endoscopic myotomy)
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Published online: February 21, 2016
Accepted: February 10, 2016
Received: October 26, 2015
DISCLOSURE: All authors disclosed no financial relationships relevant to this publication.
Copyright © 2016 by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy