Endoscopic mucosal ablation and resection of Barrett’s esophagus and related diseases

Juan A. Muñoz-Largacha, Virginia R. Litle


The prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease as well as the incidence of Barrett’s esophagus (BE) has increased in the Western world over the last decades. The chronic reflux of gastric secretions injuries the esophageal mucosa and triggers cellular and molecular changes inducing the transformation of the normal squamous mucosa into columnar metaplastic epithelium. BE is a premalignant condition that can progress to low-grade dysplasia, high-grade dysplasia and ultimately esophageal adenocarcinoma. An early diagnosis of dysplastic changes and the adoption of appropriate therapeutic approaches are essential to improve patient outcomes and survival. Endoscopic therapies such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) have been developed to treat dysplastic changes and mucosal abnormalities suspicious of malignancy. RFA has shown to be safe and effective for the treatment of low and high-grade dysplasia. EMR is diagnostic for mucosal lesions and potentially therapeutic for high-grade dysplasia or intramucosal adenocarcinoma. Proficient endoscopic skills and frequent practice are essential elements for a successful result. Here, we describe patient selection, the pre- and post-operative management, and the surgical technique for RFA and EMR in patients with the diagnosis of dysplastic BE and intramucosal esophageal adenocarcinoma.