The disease variously known as idiopathic dilatation of the esophagus, cardiospasm or achalasia cardia has not rarely been diagnosed since the advent of the x-rays and the opaque meal; by those interested it is generally held to be second only to cancer in frequency of diseases of the esophagus.
The main interest in the study of a disease depends on new evidence of its causation, if that has been in doubt, or new methods of treatment, if those used in the past have been unsatisfactory.
Of the many names offered, the one chosen, "idiopathic dilatation of the esophagus," suggests a confession of ignorance as to the cause, and a brief review of the methods of treatment shows wide divergence in principle.
Recent work by a group in Japan seems to offer a more definite and satisfactory explanation of the pathologic process. I hope to indicate a method of surgical treatment