Asploro Journal of Biomedical and Clinical Case Reports
Article Type: Case Report
Asp Biomed Clin Case Rep. 2023 Feb 04;6(1):11-16
Nadejda Godoroja1, Katrina Waters1, Austin Ghera1, Nalin Ranasinghe2, Leonard Ranasinghe3*
1Second-year medical student, California Northstate University College of Medicine, Elk Grove, California, USA
2Emergency physician, AO Fox Hospital, Oneonta, NY, USA
3Professor of Emergency Medicine, M4 Director, California Northstate University College of Medicine, Elk Grove, California, USA
Corresponding Author: Leonard Ranasinghe, MD
Address: College of Medicine, California Northstate University, 9700 West Taron Drive, Elk Grove, California 95757, USA.
Received date: 23 January 2023; Accepted date: 30 January 2023; Published date: 04 February 2023
Citation: Godoroja N, Waters K, Ghera A, Ranasinghe N, Ranasinghe L. Achalasia Following a SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Recent COVID-19 Immunization in a 20-year-old Female. Asp Biomed Clin Case Rep. 2023 Feb 04;6(1):11-16.
Copyright © 2023 Godoroja N, Waters K, Ghera A, Ranasinghe N, Ranasinghe L. This is an open-access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Achalasia, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, Case Report
Abbreviations: LES: Lower Esophageal Sphincter; GI: Gastrointestinal; ED: Emergency Department; PE: Pulmonary Embolism; COVID-19: Coronavirus Disease 2019; SARS CoV-2: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2; CT: Computerized Tomography; ACE2: Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme-2; IV: Intravenous
Achalasia is an esophageal disorder characterized by loss of inhibitory neurons of the myenteric plexus in the lower esophageal sphincter, presenting with dysphagia, chest pain, and regurgitation. Although the etiology of achalasia is unknown, it has been associated with viral infections, and recent studies have noted concurrence of achalasia cases with COVID-19 infection. The case discussed in this report pertains to a 20-year-old female with a recent history of COVID-19 infection and subsequent SARS CoV-2 vaccine administration, presenting to the Emergency Department with a complaint of chest pain and shortness of breath. She was incidentally diagnosed with achalasia, after concern for pulmonary embolism prompted CT angiography of the chest. This case is unique due to the patient’s young age and lack of confounding ongoing medical issues to consider when analyzing disease presentation, as well as its potential link to COVID-19 infection. We hypothesize that SARS-CoV-2 might have caused a deviant immune response in this patient, leading to vagus nerve damage and the development of achalasia. With this case report, we hope to further explore the connection between COVID-19 and achalasia to help guide clinicians to potential viral etiologies of achalasia, allowing them for a prompt and efficient diagnosis and patient management.