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ACG: Electrical Stimulation of Esophageal Sphincter Aids GERD

Last Updated: October 23, 2012.

Use of lower esophageal sphincter electrical stimulation seems beneficial for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease, according to three studies presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, held from Oct. 19 to 24 in Las Vegas.

TUESDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Use of lower esophageal sphincter (LES) electrical stimulation (EST) seems beneficial for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), according to three studies presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, held from Oct. 19 to 24 in Las Vegas.

Michael D. Crowell, Ph.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., and colleagues examined the effect of LES-EST on proximal esophageal acid exposure in 19 patients with GERD. At baseline, the total, upright, and supine values of median proximal esophageal acid exposure were 0.4, 0.6, and 0 percent, respectively. The researchers found that, after 12 months of LES-EST, the values were significantly improved (0 percent for each), including for seven patients with abnormal values at baseline, all of whom normalized their proximal esophageal acid exposure. The distal esophageal pH improved significantly, from 10.2 to 3.6.

In a second study, Leonardo Rodriguez, M.D., from the CCO Obesidad Y Diabetes in Santiago, Chile, and colleagues examined the safety and efficacy of chronic LES-EST in 23 patients with GERD in an open-label extension study. The researchers found that, over one year, there was a significant improvement in median GERD-health related quality of life with LES-EST, compared with on- and off-protease pump inhibitors, and a decrease in median 24-hour distal esophageal acid exposure. In a third study, Albert J. Bredenoord, M.D., from the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, and colleagues found that LES-EST was effective for treating 10 patients with refractory GERD, with significant improvements in patient symptoms and a trend toward improved esophageal pH.

"Preliminary results show that LES-EST is effective in treating refractory GERD," Bredenoord and colleagues conclude.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to EndoStim BV. The studies were supported by EndoStim BV, which manufactures the device used for LES-EST.

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