Background: Patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease who have a partial response to proton-pump inhibitors often seek alternative therapy. We evaluated the safety and effectiveness of a new magnetic device to augment the lower esophageal sphincter.
Methods: We prospectively assessed 100 patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease before and after sphincter augmentation. The study did not include a concurrent control group. The primary outcome measure was normalization of esophageal acid exposure or a 50% or greater reduction in exposure at 1 year. Secondary outcomes were 50% or greater improvement in quality of life related to gastroesophageal reflux disease and a 50% or greater reduction in the use of proton-pump inhibitors at 1 year. For each outcome, the prespecified definition of successful treatment was achievement of the outcome in at least 60% of the patients. The 3-year results of a 5-year study are reported.
Results: The primary outcome was achieved in 64% of patients (95% confidence interval [CI], 54 to 73). For the secondary outcomes, a reduction of 50% or more in the use of proton-pump inhibitors occurred in 93% of patients, and there was improvement of 50% or more in quality-of-life scores in 92%, as compared with scores for patients assessed at baseline while they were not taking proton-pump inhibitors. The most frequent adverse event was dysphagia (in 68% of patients postoperatively, in 11% at 1 year, and in 4% at 3 years). Serious adverse events occurred in six patients, and in six patients the device was removed.
Conclusions: In this single-group evaluation of 100 patients before and after sphincter augmentation with a magnetic device, exposure to esophageal acid decreased, reflux symptoms improved, and use of proton-pump inhibitors decreased. Follow-up studies are needed to assess long-term safety. (Funded by Torax Medical; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00776997.).