Submucosal tunneling endoscopic resection using methylene-blue guidance for cardial subepithelial tumors originating from the muscularis propria layer
Submucosal tunneling endoscopic resection (STER) of subepithelial tumors (SETs) originating from the muscularis propria (MP) layer in the cardia is rarely performed due to the difficulty of creating a submucosal tunnel for resection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of STER using methylene-blue guidance for SETs originating from the MP layer in the cardia. From January 2012 to December 2014, 56 patients with SETs originating from the MP layer in the cardia were treated with STER using methylene-blue guidance. The complete resection rate and adverse event rate were the main outcome measurements. Successful complete resection by STER was achieved in all 56 cases (100%). The median size of the tumor was 1.8 cm. Nine patients (15.3%) had adverse events including subcutaneous emphysema, pneumoperitoneum, pneumothorax, and pleural effusion. These nine patients recovered successfully after conservative treatment without endoscopic or surgical intervention. No residual or recurrent tumors were detected in any patient during the follow-up period (median, 25 months). The adverse event rate was significantly higher for tumors originating in the deeper MP layers (46.7%) than in the superficial MP layers (4.9%) (P < 0.05), differed significantly according to tumor size (5.4% for tumors < 2.0 cm vs. 36.8% for tumors ≥ 2.0 cm; P < 0.05), and also differed significantly in relation to the tumor growth pattern (4.1% for the intraluminal growth vs. 100% for the extraluminal growth; P < 0.001). STER using methylene-blue guidance appears to be a feasible method for removing SETs originating from the MP layer in the cardia.