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Long-term follow-up shows multipolar electrocoagulation ablation effective for Barrett's esophagus
Date:4/25/2011

OAK BROOK, Ill. April 25, 2011 A new study reports that multipolar electrocoagulation in combination with acid suppression is a safe and effective method to ablate nondysplastic Barrett's esophagus over the long term. No adenocarcinoma (cancer) or high-grade dysplasia of the esophagus developed in any of the study patients. This is the largest published series and longest follow-up of patients with nondysplastic Barrett's esophagus who underwent ablation therapy with multipolar electrocoagulation. The study appears in the April issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE).

Barrett's esophagus is a condition where the lining of the esophagus changes because of chronic inflammation, generally due to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In the setting of chronic acid exposure, the cellular structure of the lower esophageal lining changes to look more like the cells lining the intestine. Barrett's esophagus itself has no specific symptoms, but this change can increase the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma (a type of esophageal cancer). Barrett's esophagus can be readily detected during an upper endoscopy but must be confirmed by biopsies.

The usual approach is to properly diagnose Barrett's esophagus, use medical therapy to suppress acid, and follow the lining cells of the esophagus over time to detect changes before cancer has a chance to develop. If biopsies obtained during endoscopy detect dysplasia (a precancerous change in tissue), then a physician will recommend either close endoscopic surveillance (endoscopies at regular intervals with biopsies), endoscopic therapy or surgery. Endoscopic therapy may include removal of an area of Barrett's esophagus with dysplasia using endoscopic mucosal resection, which is a technique that allows removal of abnormal tissue in the esophagus without damaging the rest of the esophagus. Endoscop
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Contact: Anne Brownsey
abrownsey@asge.org
630-570-5635
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Source:Eurekalert

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