OBJECTIVES:Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is an established technique for the management of Barrett's esophagus (BE). Although EMR is generally perceived to be a relatively safe procedure, the published data regarding EMR-related complications are variable and the expertise of those performing EMR is often not disclosed. Our aim was to determine the complication rates in a large cohort of patients who underwent EMR at a specialized BE unit.METHODS:A prospectively maintained database was reviewed for patients with BE who underwent EMR from January 1995 to August 2008. EMR was performed in patients with neoplastic appearing lesions. Bleeding, stricture, and perforation related to EMR were reviewed as the main outcome measurements.RESULTS:In all, 681 patients (83% male; mean age 70 years old) underwent a total of 1,388 endoscopic procedures and 2,513 EMRs. Median length of BE was 3.0 cm (interquartile range (IQR) 1-7). A single experienced endoscopist performed 99% of the EMR procedures. EMR was performed using commercially available EMR kits in 95% (77% cap-snare and 18% band-snare) and a variceal band ligation device in 5% of cases. No EMR-related perforations occurred during the study period. The rate of post-EMR bleeding was 1.2% (8 patients). Seven patients were successfully treated endoscopically and one needed surgery. The rate for symptomatic strictures after EMR was 1.0% (7 cases), and all of the cases did not involve intervening ablation therapies. All strictures were successfully treated with endoscopic dilation.CONCLUSIONS:This is the largest series reported to date on EMR in BE. In this large retrospective study, EMR for BE was associated with a low rate of complications for selected patients when performed by experienced hands.
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