Nicholas A Hamilton, MD, Saleem Islam, MD, MPH, Mikael Petrosyan, MD, Timothy Kane, MD, James Wall, MD
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Achalasia of the esophagus is a rare condition characterized by three abnormal findings in esophageal motility - the absence of peristalsis, a high resting pressure of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and the failure of receptive relaxation of the LES [1][2]. The result of these three motility issues is a progressive dysphagia to solids and then liquids. The condition was first described in 1672 by Sir Thomas Willis and the term achalasia ("failure to relax") was coined by Hurt and Rake in 1929 [3]. There are both primary and secondary forms of achalasia – primary implying the more common classic form of idiopathic condition whereas secondary cases are due to more defined events such as Chagas disease (infection with trypanosoma cruzii) endemic to certain areas of South America or spinal cord injury that can result in an autonomic dysfunction resembling achalasia [4].

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Last updated: November 16, 2018