Background: Endoluminal gastroplication has shown promise for the treatment of GERD in short-term studies. Until now, long-term outcome data have been lacking.
Methods: A prospective, multicenter trial enrolled 85 patients with GERD to be treated with endoluminal gastroplication. Inclusion criteria were 3 or more heartburn or regurgitation episodes per week, >4.2% time in 24 hours with esophageal pH < 4, and dependency on antisecretory medications. Exclusion criteria were the presence of varices, achalasia, aperistalsis, or previous gastric resection. Patients underwent manometry, 24-hour pH monitoring, and symptom severity scoring before and after the procedure. Patient diaries were used to assess medication use and to estimate annual medication cost.
Results: At 1- and 2-year follow-up, patients had significant reductions in median heartburn symptom scores (72 at baseline [interquartile range (IQR) 90-48] vs. 4 at 12 months [IQR 43-0] and 16 at 24 months [IQR 53-3.5]; p < 0.0001 vs. baseline) and median regurgitation symptoms (2 at baseline [IQR 3-1] vs. 0 at 12 months (IQR 1-0) and 1 at 24 months [IQR 1-0]; p < 0.0001 vs. baseline). Of all patients, 59% and 52% showed heartburn symptom resolution at 12 and 24 months, respectively ( p < 0.0001 vs. baseline). Also, 83% and 77% had regurgitation symptom resolution at 12 and 24 months, respectively (p < 0.0001 vs. baseline). Proton pump inhibitor use also was significantly reduced at 12 and 24 months after the procedure. At 2-year follow-up, median annualized medication costs were reduced by 88% (1381 US dollars) (p < 0.0001). Endoluminal gastroplication significantly reduced the duration and the number of episodes of esophageal acid exposure (p < 0.0001 vs. baseline). Only 7 patients experienced adverse events.
Conclusions: Endoscopic gastroplication is safe and effective, and is associated with symptom reductions in patients with GERD for at least 24 months.