Electrical stimulation of the esophagus promising treatment for unresolved reflux symptoms

Clinical evidence of the safety and effectiveness of electrical stimulation of a muscular valve in the esophagus demonstrates promising results in resolving symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) and is being presented at the 77th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Las Vegas, NV.

Three studies examined small numbers of patients who had a device implanted that uses low energy to strengthen a weak or dysfunctional lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which is the underlying cause of GERD or . The LES is the ring shaped muscular valve that keeps the acidic contents of the stomach from the esophagus, or food tube.

Two studies by investigators Michael Crowell, Ph.D., FACG of Mayo Clinic Scottsdale and Edy Soffer, MD, FACG of the University of Southern California looked at various endpoints including esophageal acid exposure, improvement in GERD symptoms, and reduction of use of acid-suppressing medications known as . In a study of 25 patients, the investigators found that 77 percent of patients reported either normalization or at least a 50 percent reduction in PPI use. At 12 months after the implant of the device, there was a statistically significant improvement in patients' scores on a scale measuring health-related quality of life for patients with GERD. The authors conclude, " of the lower esophageal sphincter is effective for treating patients with GERD over long-term year duration." The authors reported relationships with the Netherlands-based EndoStim BV which manufactures the device.

In a separate and unrelated study, Arjan Bredenoord, MD and colleagues at the University Medical Center Utrecht in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, presented a study at ACG of eleven patients with refractory GERD symptoms with devices implanted in the LES. They found that ten of the eleven patients (91 percent) were able to discontinue PPI medications. Overall, their research revealed a statistically significant improvement in ' GERD symptoms, as well as a trend in improvement in their esophageal pH.

Provided by American College of Gastroenterology

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Molecular imaging reveals origin of acid reflux disease

Jun 08, 2010

Molecular imaging has uncovered what may be to blame for acid reflux disease, a painful and potentially dangerous illness that affects a sizeable percentage of the population. A study presented at SNM's 57th Annual Meeting ...

Many patients keep using PPIs after negative GERD test

Jun 05, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Nearly half of patients continue to use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) even after pH studies confirm that they do not have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and most do not recall being ...

Recommended for you

Where Ebola battles are won

4 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Four hospitals that are home to advanced biocontainment facilities have become America's ground zero in the treatment of Ebola patients.

Depression tied to worse lumbar spine surgery outcomes

7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Depressive symptoms are associated with poorer long-term outcome in patients undergoing surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), according to research published in the Oct. 1 issue of The Sp ...

Ebola death toll edging to 4,900 mark: WHO

7 hours ago

The death toll in the world's worst-ever Ebola outbreak has edged closer to 4,900, while almost 10,000 people have now been infected, new figures from the World Health Organization showed Wednesday.

US to track everyone coming from Ebola nations

8 hours ago

U.S. authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the U.S. from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. That includes returning American aid workers, federal health employees ...

User comments