Efficacy of empiric esophageal dilation in patients with non-obstructive dysphagia: systematic review and meta-analysis.
Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Empiric esophageal dilation is frequently performed for non-obstructive dysphagia. Studies evaluating its efficacy have reported conflicting results. In this meta-analysis, we have evaluated the efficacy of esophageal dilation in the management of non-obstructive dysphagia.
METHODS: We reviewed several databases from inception to 26 May 2021 to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies that evaluated the role of empiric esophageal dilation for non-obstructive dysphagia. Our outcomes of interest were clinical success (improvement in dysphagia after dilation) and difference in post-operative dysphagia score between groups. For categorical variables, we calculated pooled odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI); for continuous variables, we calculated standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% CI. Data were analyzed using a random effects model. We used GRADE framework to ascertain the quality of evidence.
RESULTS: We included 4 studies (3 RCTs and one observational) with 243 patients; there were 133 treated with empiric dilation and 110 controls. We found no significant difference in clinical success (OR (95% CI) 1.91 (0.89, 4.08)) or post-procedure dysphagia score between groups (SMD (95% CI) 0.38 (-0.37, 1.14)). Our findings remained consistent on subgroup analysis including RCTs only. Quality of evidence ranged from low to very low based on GRADE framework.
CONCLUSIONS: Our meta-analysis does not support the use of empiric esophageal dilation in patients with non-obstructive dysphagia. More studies are required to confirm these findings.
Kamal F, Khan MA, Lee-Smith W, Sharma S, Jowhar D, Farooq U, Acharya A, Kouanda A, Imam Z, Ahmed N, Henry C, Saleem N, Munroe C, Howden CW. Efficacy of empiric esophageal dilation in patients with non-obstructive dysphagia: systematic review and meta-analysis. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2021 Dec;56(12):1490-1495. doi: 10.1080/00365521.2021.1971288. Epub 2021 Sep 3. PMID: 34477033.