The size of a hiatal hernia (HH) is a key determinant of the approach for surgical repair. However, endoscopists will often utilize subjective terms, such as “small,” “medium,” and “large,” without any standardized objective correlations. The aim of this study was to identify HHs described using objective axial length measurements versus subjective size allocations and compare them to their corresponding manometry and barium swallow studies.
Methods and procedures
Retrospective chart reviews were conducted on 93 patients diagnosed endoscopically with HHs between 2017 and 2021 at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Information was collected regarding their HH subjective size assessment, axial length measurement (cm), manometry results, and barium swallow readings. Linear regression models were used to analyze the correlation between the objective endoscopic axial length measurements and manometry measurements. Ordered logistic regression models were used to correlate the ordinal endoscopic and barium swallow subjective size allocations with the continuous axial length measurements and manometry measurements.
Of the 93 endoscopy reports, 42 included a subjective size estimate, 38 had axial length measurement, and 12 gave both. Of the 34 barium swallow reads, only one gave an objective HH size measurement. Axial length measurements were significantly correlated with the manometry measurements (R2 = 0.0957, p = 0.049). The endoscopic subjective size estimates were also closely related to the manometry measurements (R2 = 0.0543, p = 0.0164). Conversely, the subjective size estimates from barium swallow reads were not significantly correlated with the endoscopic axial length measurements (R2 = 0.0143, p = 0.366), endoscopic subjective size estimates (R2 = 0.0481, p = 0.0986), or the manometry measurements (R2 = 0.0418, p = 0.0738). Mesh placement was significantly correlated to pre-operative endoscopic axial length measurement (p = 0.0001), endoscopic subjective size estimate (p = 0.0301), and barium swallow read (p = 0.0211). However, mesh placement was not significantly correlated with pre-operative manometry measurements (0.2227).
Endoscopic subjective size allocations and objective axial length measurements are associated with pre-operative objective measurements and intra-operative decisions, suggesting both can be used to guide clinical decision making. However, including axial length measurements in endoscopy reports can improve outcomes reporting.