Background & aims: The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of endoscopic full-thickness plication for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in comparison with a sham procedure.
Methods: Patients with symptomatic GERD requiring maintenance proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy were entered into a randomized, single-blind, prospective, multicenter trial. Seventy-eight patients were randomly assigned to undergo endoscopic full-thickness restructuring of the gastric cardia with transmural suture. Eighty-one patients underwent a sham procedure. Group assignments were revealed following the 3-month evaluation. The primary end point was > or =50% improvement in GERD health-related quality of life (HRQL) score. Secondary end points included medication use and esophageal acid exposure.
Results: By intention-to-treat analysis, at 3 months, the proportion of patients achieving > or =50% improvement in GERD-HRQL score was significantly greater in the active group (56%) compared with the sham group (18.5%; P < .001). Complete cessation of PPI therapy was higher among patients in the active group than in the sham group by intention-to-treat analysis (50% vs 24%; P = .002). The percent reduction in median percent time pH < 4 was significantly improved within the active group versus baseline (7 vs 10, 18%, P < .001) but not in the sham group (10 vs 9, -3%, P = .686). Between-group analysis revealed the active therapy to be superior to the sham in improving median percent time pH < 4 (P = .010). There were no perforations or deaths.
Conclusions: Endoscopic full-thickness plication more effectively reduces GERD symptoms, PPI use, and esophageal acid exposure than a sham procedure.