Ablation of Barrett's epithelium by endoscopic argon plasma coagulation in combination with high-dose omeprazole

Gastrointest Endosc. 2000 Jun;51(6):659-63.


Background: Barrett's esophagus is a premalignant condition induced by gastroesophageal reflux. The aim of this prospective study was to assess the efficacy of argon plasma coagulation in combination with high-dose omeprazole therapy to ablate nondysplastic Barrett's epithelium.

Methods: In 73 patients with histologically confirmed Barrett's epithelium, argon plasma coagulation was used in combination with maximal acid suppression (omeprazole 40 mg three times a day). Histologic and endoscopic changes were evaluated at 6- and 12-month intervals.

Results: In 69 of 70 patients (98.6%) complete squamous regeneration was achieved after a median of 2 argon plasma coagulation sessions (range 1 to 5). During a median follow-up of 12 months (range 2 to 51 months) there has been no relapse or evidence of the development of dysplasia under continuous acid suppression. Three patients (4.3%) developed a mild stricture of the distal esophagus that resolved after a single session of bougie dilation.

Conclusions: In our experience, argon plasma coagulation in combination with high-dose omeprazole treatment is an effective and safe technique for complete ablation of nondysplastic Barrett's epithelium. Restoration of squamous mucosa after argon plasma coagulation appears to be long-lasting.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Barrett Esophagus / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Laser Coagulation / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Omeprazole / administration & dosage*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Omeprazole