Post written by Sanne N. van Munster, MD, from the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, St Antonius Hospital, Nieuwegein, and the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
This study is a comparison of endoscopic cryoballoon ablation and radiofrequency ablation for eradication of Barrett’s-related neoplasia.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is the standard ablation technique for Barrett’s esophagus (BE)-related neoplasia because it has been proven to be safe and effective in a large range of high-quality studies. Alternative ablation techniques, such as cryoballoon ablation, might serve as alternative or adjunctive ablation methods when efficacy and safety are comparable to that of RFA, and when they will have secondary advantages. Improved tolerability might constitute one of the advantages of cryoablation over RFA, but good-quality data are lacking. Therefore, we performed the current study to compare tolerability and efficacy between cryoballoon ablation and RFA for treatment of short segment BE.
Our study shows that cryoballoon ablation is better tolerated in terms of pain and dysphagia compared to RFA in patients with short segment BE. The overall pain scores in our study were relatively low, which might be due to the fact that we included patients with relatively short segment BE. Further studies in patients with larger BE segments would therefore be interesting.
Our data suggest roughly comparable efficacy after a single treatment, but further data in this regard are needed. A large, prospective multicenter study is currently on its way to assess the efficacy of cryoballoon ablation in patients with BE.
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