Complete reversal of Barrett's epithelium achieved by treatment with argon plasma coagulation is variable.
Dr Hendrik Manner and colleagues from Germany prospectively evaluated the effectiveness of high-power argon plasma coagulation in a multicenter trial.
In 7 study centers, 60 patients with nonneoplastic Barrett's esophagus were recruited for treatment with high-power argon plasma coagulation in combination with esomeprazole 80 mg/day.
The team of doctors carried out video endoscopy, chromoendoscopy, and 4-quadrant biopsies during baseline endoscopy and regular intervals.
|Complete remission was achieved in 77% of patients|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The doctors classified effect of ablation as complete remission, partial remission, or minor response.
The team reported that 51 of the 60 patients completed ablation therapy, and 3 patients were lost to follow-up.
After a mean of 3 argon plasma coagulation sessions, and a mean follow-up of 14 months, complete remission was achieved in 77% of patients.
The doctors observed major complications in 10% of patients.
Dr Manner's team commented, “Complete ablation of Barrett's esophagus can be achieved in a high percentage of patients even in a multicenter design using high-power argon plasma coagulation.”
“However, argon plasma coagulation has a relevant morbidity.”
“Therefore, ablation of nonneoplastic Barrett's esophagus cannot be recommended generally because incidence of cancer in Barrett's esophagus is low.”