Chicago Classification update (version 4.0): Technical review on diagnostic criteria for achalasia

Abraham Khan*, Rena Yadlapati, Sutep Gonlachanvit, David A. Katzka, Moo In Park, Michael Vaezi, Marcelo Vela, John Pandolfino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The recommended diagnostic criteria for achalasia have been recently updated by Chicago Classification version 4.0 (CCv4.0), the widely accepted classification scheme for esophageal motility disorders using metrics from high-resolution manometry (HRM). CCv4.0 continued upon prior versions by subtyping achalasia into type I, type II, and type III on HRM. The achalasia subgroup of the CCv4.0 Working Group developed both conclusive and inconclusive statements for the HRM diagnoses of achalasia subtypes. Conclusive achalasia on HRM is defined as an abnormal median integrated relaxation pressure (IRP) in the primary position of wet swallows along with 100% failed peristalsis, with type I achalasia having 100% failed peristalsis without panesophageal pressurization (PEP), type II achalasia with PEP in at least 20% of swallows, and type III achalasia having at least 20% of swallows premature with no appreciable peristalsis. An inconclusive HRM diagnosis of achalasia can arise when there is an integrated relaxation pressure (IRP) that is borderline or at the upper limit of normal in at least one position, there is an abnormal IRP in both positions but evidence of peristalsis with PEP or premature swallows, or there is peristalsis in the secondary position after apparent achalasia in the primary position. In patients with dysphagia and an inconclusive HRM diagnosis of achalasia, supportive testing beyond HRM such as a timed barium esophagram (TBE) for functional lumen imaging probe (FLIP) is recommended. The review recommends a diagnostic algorithm for achalasia, discusses therapeutic options for the disease, and outlines future needs on this topic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14182
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Chicago Classification
  • dysphagia
  • high-resolution manometry
  • hypercontractile esophagus
  • jackhammer esophagus
  • non-cardiac chest pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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