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.

Related Stories

Molecular imaging reveals origin of acid reflux disease

date 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

date 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

MSF fighting cholera outbreak in Tanzania refugee camps

date 8 hours ago

Medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) said Sunday it had launched emergency treatment centres in Tanzania, where thousands of Burundians fleeing unrest have been hit by cholera.

Bacteria blamed in indigenous Mexican baby deaths

date May 23, 2015

Bacteria—and not a contaminated vaccine as initially suspected—were to blame for the recent deaths of two Mexican babies and for sickening 29 others, according to an official investigation.

Explainer: What is Chagas disease?

date May 22, 2015

According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), in a Los Angeles clinic treating patients with heart failure, about 20% of Latin American patients have Chagas disease. What is that?, y ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.