Objectives: Recent data suggest that effective control of gastroesophageal reflux improves outcomes associated with endoscopic eradication therapy (EET) for Barrett's esophagus (BE). However, the impact of reflux control on preventing recurrent intestinal metaplasia and/or dysplasia is unclear. The aims of the study were: (a) to determine the effectiveness and durability of EET under a structured reflux management protocol and (b) to determine the impact of optimizing anti-reflux therapy on achieving complete eradication of intestinal metaplasia (CE-IM).
Methods: Consecutive BE patients referred for EET were enrolled and managed with a standardized reflux management protocol including twice-daily PPI therapy during eradication. Primary outcomes were rates of CE-IM and IM or dysplasia recurrence.
Results: Out of 221 patients enrolled (46.0% with high-grade dysplasia/intramucosal carcinoma, 34.0% with low-grade dysplasia, and 20.0% with non-dysplastic BE) an overall CE-IM of 93% was achieved within 11.6±10.2 months. Forty-eight patients did not achieve CE-IM in 3 sessions. After modification of their reflux management, 45 (93.7%) achieved CE-IM in a mean of 1.1 RFA sessions. Recurrence occurred in 13 patients (IM in 10(4.8%), dysplasia in 3 (1.5%)) during a mean follow-up of 44±18.5 months. The only significant predictor of recurrence was the presence of a hiatal hernia. Recurrence of IM was significantly lower than historical controls (10.9 vs. 4.8%, P=0.04).
Conclusions: The current study highlights the importance of reflux control in patients with BE undergoing EET. In this setting, EET has long-term durability with low recurrence rates providing early evidence for extending endoscopic surveillance intervals after EET.