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MINERVA GASTROENTEROLOGICA E DIETOLOGICA
A Journal on Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Dietetics
Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2003 March;49(1):63-70
Endoscopic treatment of Barrett's epithelium with argon plasma coagulation. Long-term follow-u
Familiari L., Scaffidi M., Bonica M., Consolo P., Giacobbe G., Fichera D., Familiari P.
Background. Barrett's esophagus (BE) is a premalignant condition for the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Recently, many endoscopic therapies based on thermal or photobiologic ablation of BE have been provided, with positive short-term results in 60-100% of cases, but long-term results are still lacking. The aim of this study is to evaluate long-term results of BE endoscopic ablation with Argon- Plasma Coagulation (APC).
Methods. Thirty-five consecutive patients were treated (every 3 weeks) with APC until the eradication of BE and the squamous epithelium restoration were assessed. During the treatment and the first 6 months of follow-up, patients received 40 mg/die omeprazole; then the proton pump inhibitors (PPI) dose was 20 mg/die. Endoscopic and histologic controls have been performed every 6 months. The study considered the fìrst 32 patients who completed at least 24 months of follow-up, whose median was 49.5 months (range: 24-60).
Results. The ablation of BE was achieved with a median of 2.0 APC sessions, without side- effects. The recurrence of SIM (specialized intestinal metaplasia) was detected in 3 patients, while nor dysplasia or cancer developed.
Conclusions. Our results confirm that APC can lead both to eradication of BE and the restoration of squamous epithelium. As recent reports indicated the persistence of SIM beneath the new epithelium and even a neoplastic growth (adenocarcinoma) in the treated area, despite APC, 2 questions have arisen: is APC unable to radically ablate BE or on the contrary are these findings due to defects of the ablative technique needing improvement? To settle more precise conclusions, further investigation with larger numbers of patients and for longer follow-up is required.