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Ann Surg. 1998 Jan;227(1):40-4.

Treatment of Barrett's esophagus by endoscopic laser ablation and antireflux surgery.

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  • 1Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.



The regeneration of intestinal metaplasia by squamous epithelium in 17 patients with Barrett's esophagus after endoscopic laser ablation in a reflux-free environment after successful antireflux surgery was prospectively examined.


All patients had antireflux surgery, and healing of reflux was verified at postoperative endoscopy and 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring. Thereafter, in 11 patients, the whole Barrett's epithelium was ablated using endoscopic Nd-YAG laser energy in 1 to 8 sessions (mean, 4). The needed energy was 965 to 11,173 joules (mean 4709), or about 1000 joules per centimeter of Barrett's esophagus. Six patients had no laser ablation but were treated by antireflux surgery and served as a control group.


In all laser-treated patients, the regenerated epithelium was histologically of squamous type in the tubular esophagus, but two patients still had intestinal metaplasia in the gastric cardia. In controls, the length of Barrett's esophagus and intestinal metaplasia remained unchanged. The length of follow-up was 26 months after the last laser session and 21 months in the control group.


The regenerated esophageal epithelium arising after laser ablation in reflux-free environment surgery is of squamous type. This treatment may have a role in preventing the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma arising in Barrett's esophagus.

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