Achalasia causes

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Achalasia Microchapters


Patient Information


Historical Perspective




Differentiating Achalasia from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings

X Ray




Other Imaging Findings

Other Diagnostic Studies


Medical Therapy


Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case Studies

Case #1

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Twinkle Singh, M.B.B.S. [2], Ahmed Younes M.B.B.CH [3]


Achalasia is chronic esophageal motility disorder. The most common form is primary achalasia, which has no known underlying cause. It is due to the failure of distal esophageal inhibitory neurons. However, a small proportion occurs secondary to other conditions, such as esophageal cancer or Chagas disease.


Life threatening

Life-threatening causes include conditions which may result in death or permanent disability within 24 hours if left untreated. Achalasia does not have life-threatening causes.

Common causes

Less common causes

Causes by Organ System

Cardiovascular No underlying causes
Chemical/Poisoning No underlying causes
Dental No underlying causes
Dermatologic No underlying causes
Drug Side Effect No underlying causes
Ear Nose Throat No underlying causes
Endocrine Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2
Environmental No underlying causes
Gastroenterologic Eosinophilic gastroenteritis, esophageal cancer, gastric carcinoma, idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, myenteric plexus degeneration, pancreatic cancer
Genetic No underlying causes
Hematologic No underlying causes
Iatrogenic No underlying causes
Infectious Disease Chagas disease, HSV-1, herpes zoster, measles
Musculoskeletal/Orthopedic No underlying causes
Neurologic Neurofibromatosis
Nutritional/Metabolic No underlying causes
Obstetric/Gynecologic No underlying causes
Oncologic Esophageal cancer, lung carcinoma, lymphoma, pancreatic cancer, paraneoplastic syndrome
Ophthalmologic No underlying causes
Overdose/Toxicity No underlying causes
Psychiatric No underlying causes
Pulmonary No underlying causes
Renal/Electrolyte No underlying causes
Rheumatology/Immunology/Allergy Sarcoidosis, Juvenile Sjögren's syndrome
Sexual No underlying causes
Trauma No underlying causes
Urologic No underlying causes
Miscellaneous Anderson-Fabry disease, Amyloidosis

Causes in Alphabetical Order


  1. Gockel I, Müller M, Schumacher J (2012). "Achalasia--a disease of unknown cause that is often diagnosed too late". Dtsch Arztebl Int. 109 (12): 209–14. doi:10.3238/arztebl.2012.0209. PMC 3329145. PMID 22532812.
  2. Ghoshal UC, Daschakraborty SB, Singh R (2012). "Pathogenesis of achalasia cardia". World J. Gastroenterol. 18 (24): 3050–7. doi:10.3748/wjg.v18.i24.3050. PMC 3386318. PMID 22791940.
  3. Ates F, Vaezi MF (2015). "The Pathogenesis and Management of Achalasia: Current Status and Future Directions". Gut Liver. 9 (4): 449–63. doi:10.5009/gnl14446. PMC 4477988. PMID 26087861.

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