Long-term Efficacy of Laparoscopic Antireflux Surgery on Regression of Barrett's Esophagus Using BRAVO Wireless pH Monitoring: A Prospective Clinical Cohort Study

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Abstract

Objective:

To assess the long-term efficacy of antireflux surgery on Barrett's esophagus (BE) using BRAVO wireless pH monitoring.

Background:

BE is associated with chronic gastroesophageal reflux and esophageal cancer. Till date, studies have failed to demonstrate that preventing gastroesophageal reflux with antireflux surgery halts the progression of BE, often because of difficulties in objectively proving an effective antireflux barrier.

Methods:

Since 1991, all patients undergoing antireflux surgery across 2 hospital sites have been followed in a prospective database. Patients with BE and at least 5 years follow up after antireflux surgery were identified. All patients completed a clinical outcome questionnaire and underwent endoscopic assessment and histological evaluation of their BE. Fourty-eight hours pH monitoring was then performed with the wireless BRAVO system.

Results:

A total of 50 patients (40 males:10 females) were included in the study, with an average follow up of 11.9 years. Approximately, 92% (46/50) reported their outcome of surgery as “excellent” or “good” and 86% (43/50) reported “none” or “mild” symptoms. Histological regression of BE was seen in 41% (20/49). Lower esophageal acid exposure (percentage time pH < 4) was significantly greater in those with no pathological regression (P = 0.008). Moreover, 64% (32/50) showed endoscopic reduction in the length of BE. Acid exposure was also significantly less in the group showing endoscopic reduction of BE (%time pH < 4, 0.2 vs 3.6, P = 0.007).

Conclusions:

Antireflux surgery is safe and effective in patients with Barrett's esophagus. An intact fundoplication, as assessed with BRAVO wireless pH monitoring, suggests that antireflux surgery may halt the progression of Barrett's esophagus, and this might reduce the risk of cancer development.

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