Photodynamic therapy for Barrett's esophagus with dysplasia and/or early stage carcinoma: long-term results

Gastrointest Endosc. 2003 Aug;58(2):183-8. doi: 10.1067/mge.2003.327.


Background: Photodynamic therapy has been shown to eliminate Barrett's dysplasia. This report presents long-term follow-up data after photodynamic therapy of Barrett's esophagus with high-grade dysplasia, low-grade dysplasia, or early stage carcinoma.

Methods: Porfimer-photodynamic therapy was performed in 103 patients. The Nd:YAG laser was used to photoablate small areas of residual or untreated Barrett's mucosa. Acid suppression was maintained in all patients (omeprazole, 20 mg twice a day).

Results: Mean follow-up was 50.65 (SD 20.57) months (range 2-122 months). For the 82 patients not lost to follow-up, mean follow-up was 58.5 (12.89) months (range 41-132 months). After photodynamic therapy, the length of Barrett's mucosa decreased by a mean of 6.92 cm (range 1-22 cm). Of the 65 patients with high-grade dysplasia, 60 (94%) had elimination of high-grade dysplasia. Three (4.6%) patients developed subsquamous adenocarcinoma. Subsquamous, nondysplastic, metaplastic epithelium was found in 4 patients (4.9%). Strictures occurred in 18% with one session of photodynamic therapy, and 50% with two treatments, 30% overall. For the 103 patients, intention-to-treat success rates were 92.9%, 77.5%, and 44.4% for, respectively, low-grade dysplasia, high-grade dysplasia, and early stage carcinoma groups.

Conclusion: Porfimer-photodynamic therapy with supplemental Nd:YAG photoablation and continuous treatment with omeprazole reduces the length of Barrett's mucosa, eliminates high-grade dysplasia, and, by comparison with historical data, may reduce the expected frequency of carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use
  • Barrett Esophagus / drug therapy*
  • Barrett Esophagus / pathology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / complications*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metaplasia / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Omeprazole / therapeutic use
  • Photochemotherapy* / methods
  • Precancerous Conditions / complications*


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Omeprazole