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Endoscopy. 1997 Oct;29(8):751-3.

Treatment of Barrett's esophagus by endoscopic argon plasma coagulation.

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  • 1Dept. of General Internal Medicine, University of Bonn, Germany.


Barrett's esophagus is a premalignant condition characterized by the presence of specialized columnar epithelium in the distal esophagus. Conventional medical or surgical treatments do not consistently lead to a regression of Barrett's epithelium. However, restoration of squamous mucosa can occur in an anacid environment after endoscopic ablation of metaplastic epithelium. We report here on two patients with long-standing history of Barrett's esophagus who were treated with endoscopic argon plasma coagulation. By six months of endoscopic treatment, Barrett's epithelium had regressed by more than 50%, being replaced by apparently normal squamous epithelium in both patients. Extensive histological sampling confirmed the presence of squamous epithelium indistinguishable from normal esophageal mucosa. Both patients were asymptomatic under concomitant therapy with proton pump inhibitors with the exception of slight retrosternal discomfort the day after treatment. This demonstrates that endoscopic argon plasma coagulation may be considered for the treatment of Barrett's esophagus.

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