GERD is a widespread disorder. It frequently requires long-term medical therapy or surgery.
The United States Food and Drug Administration recently cleared new endoluminal GERD treatments, but a t present no controlled trials exist for these.
In this study, a team of physicians from the United States compared radiofrequency energy delivery to the gastroesophageal junction with a sham procedure.
The team evaluated 64 randomly assigned GERD patients.
|Treatment improved patients’ heartburn symptoms.|
The main outcomes measured in this study were reflux symptoms and quality of life.
However, the secondary outcomes of medication use and esophageal acid exposure were also determined.
After 6 months, patients in the sham arm of the study could cross over to the treatment arm.
The researchers found that, at 6 months, active treatment improved patients’ heartburn symptoms and quality of life.
They determined that 61% of patients in the active treatment group were without daily heartburn symptoms, compared with 33% in the sham group. More patients in the treatment group also showed a greater than 50% improvement in their GERD quality of life score.
The team found that symptom improvements persisted at 12 months after treatment.
However, at 6 months, there were no differences between the groups in daily medication use after a medication withdrawal protocol or in esophageal acid exposure times.
Dr Douglas Corley's team concluded, "Radiofrequency energy delivery significantly improved GERD symptoms and quality of life compared with a sham procedure, but it did not decrease esophageal acid exposure or medication use at 6 months".
"This procedure represents a new option for selected symptomatic GERD patients who are intolerant of, or desire an alternative to, traditional medical therapies".