A frail 85-year-old patient with atrial fibrillation on direct oral anticoagulants
presented with fever and acute dyspnoe and was diagnosed with right upper lobe pneumonia.
) The patient´s condition stabilized on antibiotics. However, the detailed history
included un-investigated dysphagia and nocturnal regurgitation of food was reported.
Zenker´s diverticulum was confirmed by esophagogram suggesting a 60-mm hypopharyngeal
pouch (Fig. 1B
), reproduced on endoscopy (Fig. 1C
esophageal entrance) with food retention at its base. (Fig. 1D
) Endoscopic myotomy was scheduled two weeks later to allow for pneumonia resolution.
However, the patient was readmitted three days prior with recurrent aspiration. The
patient additionally reported chest pain with troponin dynamics, suggesting non-ST
elevation myocardial infarction. The patient underwent interventional coronary revascularisation
with implantation of two drug-eluting stents with triple antithrombotic treatment
until discharge. In this complex scenario, the patient was trained by speech therapy
and instructed to only eat soft meals, avoid late meals and post-prandial recumbency.
Endoscopic treatment was provisionally postponed for three months in case peri-interventional
bleeding complications may arose. As a consequence, the patient did not experience
further pulmonary complications and presented for endoscopic myotomy under the P2Y12
inhibitor clopidogrel, while apixaban was withheld 24 hours. Endoscopic myotomy using
a transparent cap to facilitate endoscopic maneuvering started with mucosal incision
over the cricopharyngeus (CP) muscle, the fibres of which were rapidly identified
underneath. (Fig. 2A
) The whole procedure was performed using an articulating knife allowing for rapid
and precise transection (ClutchCutter device, Fuji, Düsseldorf, Germany). (Fig. 2B
) Despite the large size, a complete myotomy, was performed within an estimated 15
minutes without complications and with complete resolution of the diverticulum. (Fig. 2C
) The postinterventional course was unremarkable. At clinical follow up after three
months, the patient reported complete absence of dysphagia.