Electrical stimulation to increase lower esophageal sphincter pressure after POEM
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Postoperative reflux remains to be a challenge for patients with achalasia undergoing Heller myotomy. Similarly, per-oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) is gaining rapid acceptance but the impossibility of adding a fundoplication is questioned as the main pitfall to control reflux. Electrical stimulation of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) has emerged as a new alternative for the treatment of reflux disease. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential benefits of combining electrical stimulation with endoscopic esophageal myotomy to prevent post procedural reflux.
Five pigs were subjected to POEM. After myotomy was completed, two electrical leads were implanted at the LES level and electrical stimulation was applied with the Endostim system with a regimen of 215 μs (5 mA amplitude), at 20 Hz for 25 min. LES pressures were recorded with manometry at pre and post-myotomy and after LES stimulation.
Myotomy was completed successfully in all cases. Mean pre-myotomy LES pressure was 35.99 ± 8.08 mmHg. After myotomy, the LES pressure significantly dropped to 10.60 ± 3.24 mmHg (p = 0.03). Subsequent to LES-EST, LES pressure significantly increased to 21.74 ± 4.65 mmHg (p = 0.01).
The findings of this study show that LES-EST in healthy animals increases LES pressure after POEM procedure, and could be useful tool to minimize gastroesophageal reflux.
KeywordsPOEM Electrical stimulation GERD Achalasia LES
Dr Nieponice received a research Grant for parcial support of this study. Dr Jobe is a member of Endostim´s SAB. Franco Ciotola, Andres Ditaranto, Claudio Bilder, Adolfo Badaloni, Daniel Lowenstein, Juan Martin Riganti, Toshitaka Hoppo, and Fabio Nachman have no conflict of interest to disclose.