New treatment for chronic throat irritation and globus sensation in the gullet
Chronic throat irritation, a permanent globus sensation, and a sore or dry sensation in the throat are common symptoms often trivialised and wrongly attributed to gastroesophageal reflux disease. However, these are also the characteristic symptoms of patients suffering from displaced gastric mucosa in the oesophagus (ectopic mucosa). A recent study conducted by researchers from MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital has now produced a breakthrough in the treatment of patients with this condition. For the first time, the new radiofrequency ablation technique has been successfully used in severe cases.
The symptoms are caused by a section of misplaced gastric mucosa, which is found in the oesophagus rather than in the stomach during gastroscopy in nearly 10 to 15 percent of people, resulting in chronic damage to the larynx due to the production of acid and mucus. Up until now, there has been no safe and effective option for treating pronounced forms of this condition. The application of radiofrequency ablation brings about a significant improvement in the condition. The study has now been published in the leading journal Digestive Endoscopy.
"Radiofrequency ablation is a state-of-the-art, minimally invasive technique that has been developed for treating the precancerous stages and early stages of oesophageal cancer, which we offer on an out-patient basis during a gastroscopy," explains Ivan Kristo, lead author of the study and surgeon at the Department of Surgery of MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital (Head: Michael Gnant). He says, "This new technique enables us to deliver a controlled charge of energy that destroys unhealthy tissue while causing minimal side-effects. In the patients we have treated so far, the technique produces an improvement that is visible to the doctor and perceptible to the patient."
In order to consolidate the success of the new technique, lead investigator Sebastian Schoppmann, surgeon and Head of the Diseases of the Stomach and Oesophagus working group at MedUni Vienna's Department of Surgery, is currently preparing a randomised, controlled trial. "Our innovation has enabled us to treat patients with this condition for the very first time worldwide."