Esophageal Disorders: POEM in Kids, Mitomycin C for Refractory Strictures

At our recent national meeting, Dr. Peter Kahrilas indicated that POEM (Per-oral Endoscopic Myotomy) was now the treatment of choice for most adults with achalasia (#NASPGAN19 Postgraduate Course -Part 3).

A Chone et al (JPGN 2019; 69: 523-7) provide recent multicenter retrospective data on POEM in the pediatric age group (mean age 14 years), n=117.

Key findings:

  • Clinical success, defined as Eckardt score ≤3 during followup, was achieved in 90.6% of cases. The Eckardt score was >3 in 5 (4.3%) and data was missing in 6 (5.1%)
  • Adverse events included 1 case with significant bleeding, 2 cases of aspiration pneumonia (related to anesthesia), 1 esopleural fistula (managed endoscopically), and 6 mild AEs (4 mucosomtomies, 2 subcutaneous emphysema)

Additional related blog posts:

D Ley et al (JPGN 2019; 69: 528-32) provide retrospective data on 39 patients, median age 19 months, with refractory esophageal strictures which were treated with mitomycin C.  The authors considered mitomycin C after a minimum of two previous dilatations.

Key findings:

  • Etiology: The majority had strictures/stenosis associated with esophageal atresia (n=25) followed by caustic ingestion in 9.
  • Number of stenosis: The majority (n=35) had a single stenosis.
  • In 26 patients (67%), topical application of mitomycin C was considered a success based on a reduction in the number of dilatations.  In this group, the number of dilatations dropped from 102 to 17 over a comparable period.
  • 16 (41%) never required further dilatation following mitomycin C application

My take: This study provides some of the best evidence that mitomycin C may be helpful.  Long-term followup and more studies are needed.

Related blog posts:

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Lincoln Park, Chicago

Work on Both Ends

Two articles provide some insight into endoscopic interventions on both ends of the gastrointestinal tract.

In the first article (JPGN 2014; 59: 608-11), the authors retrospectively studied 11 children who received mitomycin-C concurrently with endoscopic dilatation for the treatment of anastomotic strictures after esophageal atresia repair.  Key finding: 8 of 11 achieved resolution of their strictures, 2 remained with stenosis, and 1 needed surgical correction. However, the authors found no benefit of mitomycin C in the resolution of the strictures compared with endoscopic dilatation alone in historical controls (n=10). In fact, in this small study, the control group patients had fewer endoscopic dilatations (3.7 vs. 5.4 dilatations per patient) and 9 of 10 achieved stricture resolution.

In the second article (JPGN 2014; 59: 604-08), the authors retrospectively reviewed the outcome of children (n=33) with surgically-treated Hirschsprung’s disease (HD) who were treated with intrasphincteric Botox injections for obstructive symptoms. In these children with median age of first Botox injection was 3.6 years; a median of 2 injections were given.  26 (79%) had had a transanal endorectal pull-through.  Key finding: initial improvement was noted in 76% and “good/excellent” long-term response was evident in 52% (Table 2).

Bottomline: Botox therapy appears helpful for non-relaxing sphincters in HD whereas mitomycin-C remains an unproven therapy for esophageal strictures.

Also briefly noted: JPGN 2014; 59: 674-78.  “Use of cyproheptadine in young children with feeding difficulties and poor growth in a pediatric feeding program.” n=127.  Of the 82 who took cyproheptadine regularly, 96% reported a positive change in feeding behaviors and there was a significant improvement in weight gain.

Also, with regard to stooling problems, Sana Syed (Emory GI fellow) pointed out a useful website that emphasizes proper positioning for functional constipation: squattypotty.com.  While the website promotes their product to provide proper foot support (with elevation), there are other ways to get a similar result.  As noted previously (“Poo in You” Video | gutsandgrowth) proper positioning can help a lot.

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