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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 103

of 'Barrett's esophagus: Surveillance and management'

Randomized trial of argon plasma coagulation versus endoscopic surveillance for barrett esophagus after antireflux surgery: late results.
Bright T, Watson DI, Tam W, Game PA, Astill D, Ackroyd R, Wijnhoven BP, Devitt PG, Schoeman MN
Ann Surg. 2007;246(6):1016.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the efficacy of endoscopic argon plasma coagulation (APC) for ablation of Barrett esophagus.
SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: APC has been used to ablate Barrett esophagus. However, the long-term outcome of this treatment is unknown. This study reports 5-year results from a randomized trial of APC versus surveillance for Barrett esophagus in patients who had undergone a fundoplication for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux.
METHODS: Fifty-eight patients with Barrett esophagus were randomized to undergo either ablation using APC or ongoing surveillance. At a mean 68 months after treatment, 40 patients underwent endoscopy follow-up. The efficacy of treatment, durability of the neosquamous re-epithelialization, and safety of the procedure were determined.
RESULTS: Initially, at least 95% ablation of the metaplastic mucosa was achieved in all treated patients. At the 5-year follow-up, 14 of 20 APC patients continued to have at least 95% of their previous Barrett esophagus replaced by neosquamous mucosa, and 8 of these had complete microscopic regression of the Barrett esophagus. Five of the 20 surveillance patients had more than 95% regression of their Barrett esophagus, and 4 of these had complete microscopic regression (1 after subsequent APC treatment). The length of Barrett esophagus shortened significantly in both study groups, although the extent of regression was greater after APC treatment (mean 5.9-0.8 cm vs. 4.6-2.2 cm). Two patients who had undergone APC treatment developed a late esophageal stricture, which required endoscopic dilation, and 2 patients in the surveillance group developed high-grade dysplasia during follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: Regression of Barrett esophagus after fundoplication is more likely, and greater in extent, in patients who undergo ablation with APC. In most patients treated with APC the neosquamous mucosa remains stable at up to 5-year follow-up. The development of high-grade dysplasia only occurred in patients who were not treated with APC.
Flinders University Department of Surgery, Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, South Australia, UK.