, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 830-834
Date: 30 Jul 2010

Effects of Nissen fundoplication on endoscopic endoluminal radiofrequency ablation of Barrett’s esophagus

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Endoscopic endoluminal radiofrequency ablation is achieving increasing acceptance as a mode of eliminating Barrett’s metaplasia and, thus, reducing the risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma. It is believed that reducing exposure of the esophageal epithelium to acid is essential to achieve long-term ablation of Barrett’s esophagus. However, it is unclear whether use of proton pump inhibitors or antireflux operations are more effective to accomplish this goal.


All patients who underwent endoscopic endoluminal radiofrequency ablation with the BARRx device (BARRx Medical, Sunnyvale, CA) were reviewed for date of initial ablation, length of Barrett’s epithelium, presence or performance of Nissen fundoplication, all follow-up endoscopy and treatment, and posttreatment biopsy results. Patients were categorized by presence of Nissen fundoplication and presence of Barrett’s metaplasia or dysplasia by biopsy at least 12 months following ablation and at last endoscopic follow-up. Data were analyzed by Fisher’s exact test and Mann–Whitney U-test.


Of 77 patients ablated, 47 had documented endoscopic follow-up at 12 months or longer following the ablation. Of these, 19 patients had Nissen fundoplication before, at the same time, or after ablation. Median length of Barrett’s epithelium, with interquartile range (IQR), was 3 (2–12) cm in patients with fundoplication compared with 3 (2–7) cm without fundoplication (P = NS). Median follow-up was 15 (12–24) months in fundoplication patients compared with 12.5 (12–17) months without (P = NS). One of 19 patients with fundoplication had persistent or recurrent Barrett’s epithelium, compared with 7 of 28 without fundoplication (P = 0.03). Of patients without fundoplication, those who had persistent or recurrent Barrett’s had median Barrett’s length of 10 cm (6–12 cm) compared with 3 cm (2–5 cm) in patients who had ablated Barrett’s (P = 0.03). Follow-up length was similar in those with ablated epithelium, 15 months (12–19 months), compared with those with persistent or recurrent Barrett’s, 12 months (12–13 months) (P = NS).


Patients who had fundoplication in conjunction with endoluminal radiofrequency ablation were more likely to achieve durable ablation compared with patients who were treated with proton pump inhibitor therapy. It appears that patients with long-segment Barrett’s esophagus are at higher risk for persistent or recurrent Barrett’s metaplasia. Consideration should be given for an antireflux operation in patients with long-segment Barrett’s esophagus and planned endoluminal radiofrequency ablation.

Presented in part at the 12th World Congress of Endoscopic Surgery, National Harbor, MD, April 14–17, 2010 [Oral Presentation].