Comparative efficacy of per-oral endoscopic myotomy and Heller myotomy in patients with achalasia: a meta-analysis

      Background and Aims

      Although both per-oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) and Heller myotomy (HM) have been used for the treatment of achalasia, the comparative efficacy of POEM and HM has yet to be fully evaluated.


      We searched all relevant studies published up to September 2018 examining the comparative efficacy between POEM and HM. Study quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Meta-analyses for Eckardt scores, perioperative outcomes, and reflux-related outcomes were performed based on a random-effects model.


      Fifteen studies with a total of 1213 patients were evaluated. The follow-up duration ranged from 2 to 46.2 months and from 2 to 54.2 months in the POEM and HM groups, respectively. Postoperative Eckardt scores were lower (better) in the POEM group than in the HM group (pooled standardized mean difference [SMD], −0.58; 95% confidence interval [CI], −1.03 to −0.13). Length of myotomy was greater in the POEM group than in the HM group (pooled SMD, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.42-0.84). There was no difference in reflux symptoms and pathologic reflux on pH monitoring between the groups (pooled risk ratio [RR], 1.03; 95% CI, 0.61-1.73; and pooled RR, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.67-2.25, respectively). Erosive esophagitis on endoscopy tended to be less common in the HM group (pooled RR, 1.88; 95% CI, 0.98-3.62).


      Although long-term follow-up data are insufficient, the short-term efficacy of POEM was superior to that of HM. Erosive esophagitis tended to be more common in the POEM group; however, there was no difference in reflux symptoms and pathologic reflux on pH monitoring between the groups.

      Graphical abstract


      CI (confidence interval), df (degrees of freedom), HM (Heller myotomy), LHM (laparoscopic Heller myotomy), NOS (Newcastle-Ottawa scale), POEM (per-oral endoscopic myotomy), RR (risk ratio), SMD (standardized mean difference)
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