Current Controversies in Radiofrequency Ablation Therapy for Barrett's Esophagus

Kamar Belghazi, Ilaria Cipollone, Jacques J G H M Bergman, Roos E Pouw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OPINION STATEMENT: Barrett's esophagus (BE) is the most important risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma. Through the sequence of no dysplasia to low-grade dysplasia (LGD) and high-grade dysplasia (HGD), eventually early cancer (EC) may develop. The risk of neoplastic progression is relatively low, 0.5-0.9 % per patient per year. However, once diagnosed, esophageal adenocarcinoma is often irresectable, and 5-year survival is only 15 %. Therefore, non-dysplastic BE patients are kept under endoscopic surveillance to detect early neoplasia in a curable stage. In case of LGD confirmed by an expert pathologist, risk of neoplastic progression is high. In these confirmed LGD patients, prophylactic ablation using radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of the Barrett's segment has proven to significantly reduce risk of neoplastic progression. Once patients are diagnosed with HGD or EC, they have a clear indication for endoscopic treatment. The cornerstone for endoscopic management of early Barrett's neoplasia is endoscopic resection of mucosal abnormalities. Endoscopic resection (ER) provides a large tissue specimen for accurate histological evaluation to select those patients for further endoscopic management, who have neoplasia limited to the mucosa, well to moderately differentiated and without lymph-vascular invasion. After ER, the remainder of the Barrett's mucosa can be eradicated with RFA, to prevent occurrence of metachronous lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent treatment options in gastroenterology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

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