Background: Various techniques are available for EMR in the upper- and lower-GI tract. For early cancers of the esophagus, the "suck and cut" technique, which uses a transparent cap or variceal band ligator, is the most commonly practiced method. To facilitate multiple or circumferential EMR, a modified multiband variceal ligator (MBL) is introduced, which allows sequential banding and snare resection without the need to withdraw the endoscope.
Objective: To study the feasibility of modified MBL device in facilitating circumferential EMR of Barrett's esophagus (BE) that contains high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (HGIN) and/or intramucosal cancer (IMC).
Design: To enable band delivery with a snare inserted in the therapeutic endoscope, the threading channel of the cranking device is enlarged from 2 to 3.2 mm. The 6-shooter MBL was used.
Patients: Ten consecutive patients (all men; median age, 62 years; range 43-82 years) with BE were treated. IMC and HGIN were found in 8 and 2 patients, respectively.
Interventions: EMR was performed with pure coagulating current when using a 1.5 x 2.5-cm mini hexagonal polypectomy snare. No submucosal saline solution injection was performed before resection.
Results: In 5 of 10 patients with circumferential BE of 2 to 9 cm in length (median, 4 cm), complete circumferential EMR was performed in 1 session by using 3 to 18 bands (median, 6). Four patients with 3- to 10-cm (median, 4 cm) long segment BE required 2 to 5 sessions (median, 3) with a total of 5 to 42 bands (median, 12). Another patient with multifocal HGIN and/or IMC in 24 of a total of 49 specimens was finally recommended for surgery because of technical difficulties caused by mural thickening after 4 sessions. No serious procedure-related complications were observed, except for 2 minor bleedings, which were controlled endoscopically. Seven patients developed strictures after circumferential EMR. All patients except 1 were successfully managed by weekly bougienage after a median of 5 sessions (range 3-11). Deep-wall tears developed in 1 patient during the fourth bougienage session, for which limited distal esophageal resection was performed with an uneventful outcome.
Conclusions: The novel technique of MBL-EMR described here facilitated and simplified circumferential removal of BE that contained HGIN and/or IMC. However, the method is associated with a very high stricture rate if circumferential EMR is performed in a single session. Complete removal of BE should be achieved by repeated partial EMR. Long-term follow-up is needed to observe for late recurrence and to determine the clinical impact of this method.