BACKGROUND: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is safe and effective for eradicating Barrett's esophagus (BE) and BE-associated early neoplasia. Most RFA studies have limited the baseline length of BE (<10 cm), and therefore little is known about RFA for longer BE.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the safety and efficacy of RFA with or without prior endoscopic resection (ER) for BE ≥ 10 cm containing neoplasia.
DESIGN: Prospective trial.
SETTING: Two tertiary-care centers.
PATIENTS: This study involved consecutive patients with BE ≥ 10 cm with early neoplasia.
INTERVENTION: Focal ER for visible abnormalities, followed by a maximum of 2 circumferential and 3 focal RFA procedures every 2 to 3 months until complete remission.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Complete remission, defined as endoscopic resolution of BE and no intestinal metaplasia (CR-IM) or neoplasia (CR-neoplasia) in biopsy specimens.
RESULTS: Of the 26 patients included, 18 underwent ER for visible abnormalities before RFA. The ER specimens showed early cancer in 11, high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (HGIN) in 6, and low-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (LGIN) in 1. The worst residual histology, before RFA and after any ER, was HGIN in 16 patients and LGIN in 10 patients. CR-neoplasia and CR-IM were achieved in 83% (95% confidence interval [CI], 63%-95%) and 79% (95% CI, 58%-93%), respectively. None of the patients had fatal or severe complications and 15% (95% CI, 4%-35%) had moderate complications. During a mean (± standard deviation) follow-up of 29 (± 9.1) months, no neoplasia recurred.
LIMITATIONS: Tertiary-care center, short follow-up.
CONCLUSION: ER for visible abnormalities, followed by RFA of residual BE is a safe and effective treatment for BE ≥ 10 cm containing neoplasia, with a low chance of recurrence of neoplasia or BE during follow-up.