Pneumonia Risk in Patients With Achalasia

June 1, 2005

In their Photoclinic case of a man with achalasia (CONSULTANT, February 2005, page 268), Drs Sonia Arunabh and Manjula Thopcherla did not mention the extensive abnormalities evident in the left lung on both radiograph and CT .Did the patient also have aspiration pneumonia?

In their Photoclinic case of a man with achalasia (CONSULTANT, February 2005, page 268), Drs Sonia Arunabh and Manjula Thopcherla did not mention the extensive abnormalities evident in the left lung on both radiograph and CT (Figure). Did the patient also have aspiration pneumonia?

---- Dan Fairman, MD

Sun Valley, Idaho

Yes, the patient did have aspiration pneumonia, which was successfully treated with antibiotics. Poor esophageal motility and subsequent aspiration make patients with achalasia prone to aspiration pneumonia.

---- Sonia Arunabh, MD

Forest Hills, NY