Establishment of animal model of gastroesophageal reflux disease by per-oral endoscopic tunneling: a preliminary study

J Thorac Dis. 2018 Mar;10(3):1607-1613. doi: 10.21037/jtd.2018.02.29.


Background: Although a variety of antireflux procedures and medications are used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), reliable large-animal models of GERD that can be used to objectively compare the efficacy of these treatments are lacking. We developed a method to establish large animal models of GERD by endoscopic sphincterotomy to develop an endoscopic treatment for GERD.

Methods: In this study six flesh swine carcasses were used. A full thickness incision was made at the esophageal site 5 cm above the dentate line by per-oral endoscopic tunneling. Esophageal radiography was conducted before and after surgery to observe changes at the site of the lower esophagus 5 cm above the dentate line and in the cardia.

Results: There was no significant change in the diameter of the esophageal site 5 cm above the dentate line before and after surgery, while the cardiac orifice significantly relaxed after surgery and enabled the contrast agent to smoothly travel through. The difference in diameter was statistically significant (P<0.05).

Conclusions: Our experiments showed that it is a minimally invasive and mature technology of establishing GERD animal models by using the per-oral endoscopic tunneling technique, and might be a new method to establishing GERD large animal models.

Keywords: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); animal model; swine.