Publications by authors named "Shahin Ayazi"

53 Publications

Transoral incisionless fundoplication demonstrates durability at up to 9 years.

Therap Adv Gastroenterol 2021 16;14:17562848211004827. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Allegheny Health Network Ringgold Standard Institution - Surgery, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Goals: To assess the long-term results of transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF 2).

Background: TIF with the EsophyX2 is an accepted procedure to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Long-term data have been limited. We report clinical outcomes of 151 patients followed up to 9 years.

Study: A single institution prospective registry of patients undergoing TIF 2 between 11/2008 and 7/2015. Outcomes were assessed by complications, re-interventions, and a mixed effect model of clinical response over time.

Results: A total of 151 patients (87 women), mean age 62 years (30-91), mean body mass index (BMI) 26.6 (20-36.1), 93% on daily proton pump inhibitor (PPI), underwent TIF 2 without hiatal hernia repair; 131 of the 151 patients (86%) were available for follow-up at a median of 4.92 years (0.7-9.7 years). Of 120 patients ⩾5 years post-TIF, 62 (51%) were followed for a median 6.8 years. Median GERD-health-related quality of life (HRQL) scores decreased from 21 (interquartile range (IQR) 9.5-30) off PPI and 14 (4-24) on PPI at baseline to 4 (2-8) at 4.92 years and remained at 5 (2-9) in the 62 patients 5-9 years post-TIF. Sixty-four per cent had successful (>50%) reductions in GERD-HRQL scores at 4.92 years and 68% of patients followed ⩾5 years. Median regurgitation decreased from 15 (8-20) off PPI and 11 (5-20) on PPI at baseline to 0 (0-4) at 4.92 years, remaining at 1 (0-3) in 62 patients 5-9 years post-TIF. Mixed model analyses confirmed significant and stable improvements in GERD-HRQL and regurgitation scores at all annual follow-up time points after TIF. Daily PPI use decreased from 93% to 32% at 4.92, and 22% at ⩾5 years post-TIF. Revision to laparoscopic fundoplication in 33(22%) showed comparable outcomes. Two patients recovered uneventfully after laparoscopic surgery for localized perforation.

Conclusions: TIF 2 provides durable relief of GERD symptoms at up to 9 years with 69-80% of patients having a successful outcome by symptom response and PPI use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/17562848211004827DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8053838PMC
April 2021

Gastric remnant mesentero-axial volvulus following Roux-en-Y esophagojejunostomy: A rare complication.

Int J Surg Case Rep 2021 Apr 7;82:105873. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Esophageal Institute, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA, United States. Electronic address:

Introduction: Acute gastric volvulus is a surgical emergency with a mortality as high as 15-20%. The rarity of gastric volvulus requires high index of clinical suspicion especially in the patients with altered anatomy, to allow immediate surgical intervention and reduce the morbidity and mortality.

Presentation Of Case: We present an unusual case of gastric remnant volvulus several months following Roux-en-Y esophagojejunostomy performed in an obese patient for severe, recurrent gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and failed prior fundoplication. The patient was treated with gastropexy and Stamm gastrostomy tube.

Discussion: Gastric volvulus is a rare phenomenon, in which the stomach rotates around the short (mesentero-axial) or longitudinal (organo-axial) axes. Diagnosis of gastric volvulus is challenging due to non-specific presentation and rarity of this clinical condition. The diagnosis of volvulus in patients with altered anatomy is even more challenging, requiring a high index of suspicion, and heavily relies on cross sectional imaging.

Conclusion: Extensive gastric mobilization is a key step in several foregut and bariatric surgeries, this will leave the stomach with no attachments posteriorly and along the greater curvature and increases the likelihood of volvulus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijscr.2021.105873DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8079269PMC
April 2021

Intratumoral immunotherapy with STING agonist, ADU-S100, induces CD8+ T-cell mediated anti-tumor immunity in an esophageal adenocarcinoma model.

Oncotarget 2021 Feb 16;12(4):292-303. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Esophageal and Lung Institute, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Background: Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is a deadly disease with limited treatment options. STING is a transmembrane protein that activates transcription of interferon genes, resulting in stimulation of APCs and enhanced CD8+ T-cell infiltration. The present study evaluates STING agonists, alone and in combination with radiation to determine durable anticancer activity in solid tumors.

Materials And Methods: Esophagojejunostomy was performed on rats to induce reflux leading to the development of EAC. At 32 weeks post operatively, rats received intratumorally either 50 μg STING (ADU-S100) or placebo (PBS), +/- 16Gy radiation. Drug activity was evaluated by pre- and post- treatment MRI, histology, immunofluorescence and RT-PCR.

Results: Mean MRI tumor volume decreased by 30.1% and 50.8% in ADU-S100 and ADU-S100 + radiation animals and increased by 76.7% and 152.4% in placebo and placebo + radiation animals, respectively ( < 0.0001). Downstream gene expression, pre- to on- and post- treatment, demonstrated significant upregulation of IFNβ, TNFα, IL-6, and CCL-2 in the treatment groups vs. placebo. On- or post- treatment, radiation alone, ADU-S100 alone, and ADU-S100 + radiation groups demonstrated enhanced PD-LI expression, induced by upregulation of CD8+ T-cells ( < 0.01).

Conclusions: ADU-S100 +/- radiation exhibits potent antitumor activity and a promising immunomodulatory profile in a EAC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.27886DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7899550PMC
February 2021

Pneumothorax as the presenting manifestation of COVID-19.

J Thorac Dis 2020 Dec;12(12):7488-7493

Esophageal and Lung Institute, Department of Surgery, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/jtd-20-1687DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7797865PMC
December 2020

Efficacy of Magnetic Sphincter Augmentation Across the Spectrum of GERD Disease Severity.

J Am Coll Surg 2021 Mar 30;232(3):288-297. Epub 2020 Dec 30.

Esophageal Institute, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA.

Background: The performance and durability of various types of fundoplication are variable when stratified by disease severity. To date, magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) has not been evaluated in this context. We designed this study to determine the efficacy of MSA in the treatment of severe GERD.

Study Design: Guided by previous studies, a DeMeester score (DMS) ≥ 50 was used as a cutoff point to define severe reflux disease. Subjects were divided into 2 groups using this cutoff, and outcomes of severe cases were compared with those with less severe disease (DMS < 50).

Results: A total of 334 patients underwent MSA. Patients with severe disease had a higher mean preoperative DMS compared with those with mild to moderate GERD (79.2 [53.2] vs 22.8 [13.7], p < 0.0001). At a mean postoperative follow-up of 13.6 (10.4) months, there was no difference between the mean GERD Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQL) total scores in patients with severe disease compared with those with less severe GERD (8.8 [10] vs 9.2 [10.8], p = 0.9204). Postoperative mean DMS was not different between groups (17.3[23.0] vs 14.1[33.9], p = 0.71), and there was no difference in the prevalence of esophagitis (p = 0.52). Patients with severe disease were less likely to be free from use of proton pump inhibitors after surgery (85% vs 93.1%, p = 0.041). There were similar rates of postoperative dysphagia (10% vs 14%, p = 0.42) and need for device removal (3% vs 5%, p = 0.7463).

Conclusions: MSA is an effective treatment in patients with severe GERD and leads to significant clinical improvement across the spectrum of disease severity, with few objective outcomes being superior in patients with mild-to-moderate reflux disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2020.11.012DOI Listing
March 2021

Measurement of outflow resistance imposed by magnetic sphincter augmentation: defining normal values and clinical implication.

Surg Endosc 2020 Oct 13. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Esophageal Institute, Allegheny Health Network, 4815 Liberty Avenue, Suite 439, Pittsburgh, PA, 15224, USA.

Introduction: No manometric criteria have been defined to select patients for magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA). The first step to establish such criteria is to measure the outflow resistance at esophagogastric junction (EGJ) imposed by MSA. This resistance needs to be overcome by the esophageal contraction in order for the esophagus to empty and to avoid postoperative dysphagia. This study was designed to measure the outflow resistance caused by MSA in patients free of postoperative dysphagia.

Methods: Records of the patients who underwent MSA in our institution were reviewed. A group of MSA patients with excellent functional outcome, who were free of clinically significant postoperative dysphagia, were selected. These patients then underwent high-resolution impedance manometry (HRIM) at a target date of 1 year after surgery. The outflow resistance was measured by the esophageal intrabolus pressure (iBP) recorded 2 cm proximal to the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).

Results: The study population consisted of 43 patients. HRIM was performed at mean of 20.4 (10.4) months after surgery. The mean (SD) amplitude of the iBP was 13.5 (4.3) before surgery and increased to 19.1 (5.6) after MSA (p < 0.0001). Patients with a smaller size LINX device (≤ 14 beads) had a similar iBP when compared to those with a larger device (> 15 beads) [19.7 (4.5) vs. 18.4 (5.9), p = 0.35]. There was a significant correlation between the iBP and % incomplete bolus clearance [Spearman R: 0.44 (95% CI 0.15-0.66), p = 0.0032]. The 95th percentile value for iBP after MSA was 30.4 mmHg.

Conclusion: The EGJ outflow resistance measured by iBP is increased after MSA. The upper limit of normal for iBP is 30 mmHg in this cohort of patients who were free of dysphagia after MSA. This degree of resistance needs to be overcome by distal esophageal contraction and will likely be requisite to prevent persistent postoperative dysphagia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00464-020-08068-4DOI Listing
October 2020

Esophagitis dissecans superficialis (EDS) secondary to esophagogastric junction outflow obstruction (EGJOO): a case report and literature review.

Clin J Gastroenterol 2021 Feb 1;14(1):26-31. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Esophageal Institute, Allegheny Health Network, 4815 Liberty Avenue, Suite 439, Pittsburgh, PA, 15224, USA.

Esophageal dissecans superficialis (EDS) is a rare disease with endoscopic findings of sloughing squamous tissue with underlying normal mucosa and had no known cause. The literature does support possible causality between the presence of an esophageal stricture and EDS however there has been no association to date between EDS and esophagogastric junction outflow obstruction (EGJOO). We present a case of newly diagnosed EGJOO in a patient with long standing gastroesophageal reflux disease who presented with dysphagia. Evaluation identified endoscopically normal mucosa and a diagnosis of esophagogastric junction outflow obstruction on high resolution impedance manometry. A month later, repeat endoscopy identified diffusely sloughing mucosa consistent with EDS. Endoscopic dilation followed by a robotic Heller myotomy with Dor fundoplication to relive the outflow obstruction resulted in resolution of EDS in this case.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12328-020-01247-9DOI Listing
February 2021

Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma After Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation Thermal Injury.

Ann Thorac Surg 2021 03 24;111(3):e185-e187. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Esophageal and Lung Institute, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:

Radiofrequency ablation is a common treatment for atrial fibrillation, and esophageal complications are exceedingly rare. This report describes the case of a patient with no other known cancer risk factors who had esophageal squamous cell carcinoma that developed at the site of esophageal thermal injury, which occurred during a radiofrequency catheter ablation procedure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.06.050DOI Listing
March 2021

COVID-19 outbreak and surgical practice: The rationale for suspending non-urgent surgeries and role of testing modalities.

World J Gastrointest Surg 2020 Jun;12(6):259-268

Esophageal and Lung Institute, Department of Surgery, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA 15224, United States.

One-hundred years after the 1918-19 H1N1 flu pandemic and 10 years after the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, another respiratory virus has now inserted itself into the human population. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus has become a critical challenge to global health with immense economic and social disruption. In this article we review salient aspects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak that are relevant to surgical practice. The emphasis is on considerations during the pre-operative and post-operative periods as well as the utility and limitations of COVID-19 testing. The focus of the media during this pandemic is centered on predictive epidemiologic curves and models. While epidemiologists and infectious disease physicians are at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19, this pandemic is also a "stress test" to evaluate the capacity and resilience of our surgical community in dealing with the challenges imposed to our health system and society. As recently pointed out by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the virus decides the timelines in the models. However, the models can also change based on our decisions and behavior. It is our role as surgeons, to make every effort to bend the curves against the virus' will.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4240/wjgs.v12.i6.259DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7385513PMC
June 2020

COVID-19 outbreak and endoscopy: Considerations in patients encountered in a foregut surgery practice.

World J Gastrointest Surg 2020 May;12(5):197-202

Esophageal and Lung Institute, Department of Surgery, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA 15224, United States.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus has become a critical challenge to global health. Since the arrival of coronavirus disease 2019 in the United States, several government agencies and professional societies have issued guidelines to healthcare systems and medical providers. Endoscopy is a substantial portion of the practice of many general surgeons in the United States. With upper endoscopy, manipulation of the upper aerodigestive tract can turn the droplets to an aerosolized form and increase the likelihood of transmission and therefore is considered a high-risk procedure. In this article we review some aspects of the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak that are relevant to practice of surgical endoscopy. The emphasis of this communication is on the mode of transmission, previous experiences during other coronavirus outbreaks and society guidelines. We then highlight the changes that we have made to our practice to incorporate these factors to improve the safety of patients, health care providers, and community as a whole.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4240/wjgs.v12.i5.197DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7289649PMC
May 2020

Development of pseudoachalasia following magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) with restoration of peristalsis after endoscopic dilation.

Clin J Gastroenterol 2020 Oct 29;13(5):697-702. Epub 2020 May 29.

Esophageal and Lung Institute, Allegheny Health Network, 4815 Liberty Avenue, Suite 439, Pittsburgh, PA, 15224, USA.

Pseudoachalasia is mimicking clinical and physiologic manifestations of idiopathic achalasia but results from alternative etiologies that infiltrate or obstruct the esophagogastric junction (EGJ). Anti-reflux surgery is one of the potential etiologies of pseudoachalasia. The majority of cases with persistent dysphagia after a tightly constructed Nissen fundoplication results from EGJ outlet obstruction (EGJOO) and in rare cases progresses to pseudoachalasia. In these extreme cases, endoscopic dilation is not a sufficient treatment and take down of fundoplication would be necessary. In this case report, we present a patient with long-standing GERD symptoms that underwent magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) with complete resolution of his reflux symptoms. He did not have dysphagia prior to surgery and his preoperative manometry showed normal peristaltic progression of esophageal contractions. He developed pseudoachalasia 14 months after surgery. Repeated endoscopic dilation in this case resulted in resolution of dysphagia and complete restoration of peristaltic contractions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12328-020-01140-5DOI Listing
October 2020

Clinical Outcomes and Predictors of Favorable Result after Laparoscopic Magnetic Sphincter Augmentation: Single-Institution Experience with More than 500 Patients.

J Am Coll Surg 2020 05 17;230(5):733-743. Epub 2020 Feb 17.

Esophageal and Lung Institute, Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, PA. Electronic address:

Background: Magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) is a promising surgical treatment for patients with GERD. The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of MSA in a large cohort of patients with GERD and to determine the factors predicting a favorable outcome.

Methods: This was a retrospective review of prospectively collected data of 553 patients who underwent MSA at our institution in a 5-year period. Preoperative clinical, endoscopic, manometric, and pH data were used in a univariate analysis. This was followed by a regression multivariable analysis to determine the factors predicting a favorable outcome. Favorable outcome was defined as freedom from proton pump inhibitors and ≥50% improvement in Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease-Health-Related Quality of Life (GERD-HRQL) total score.

Results: At a mean (SD) follow-up of 10.3 (10.6) months after MSA, 92.7% of the patients were free of proton pump inhibitor use and 84% reported at least 50% improvement in their GERD-HRQL total score. The GERD-HRQL total score was improved from a mean (SD) baseline value of 33.8 (18.7) to 7.2 (9.0) (p < 0.001) and 76.1% of the patients had normalization of their esophageal acid exposure. Independent predictors of a favorable outcome after MSA included age younger than 45 years (odds ratio [OR] 4.2; 95% CI, 1.1 to 15.2; p = 0.0305), male sex (OR 2.5; 95% CI, 1.1 to 5.7; p = 0.0301), GERD-HRQL total score >15 (OR 7.5; 95% CI, 3.3 to 16.8; p < 0.0001), and abnormal DeMeester score (OR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.1 to 5.7; p = 0.0225).

Conclusions: In this largest single-institution series, we demonstrate that MSA implantation is associated with very good clinical and objective outcomes. Age younger than 45 years, male sex, GERD-HRQL total score >15, and abnormal DeMeester score are the 4 preoperative factors predicting a favorable outcome and can be used in patient counseling and MSA use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2020.01.026DOI Listing
May 2020

Magnetic Sphincter Augmentation and Postoperative Dysphagia: Characterization, Clinical Risk Factors, and Management.

J Gastrointest Surg 2020 01 6;24(1):39-49. Epub 2019 Aug 6.

Esophageal and Lung Institute, Allegheny Health Network, 4815 Liberty Avenue, Suite 439, Pittsburgh, PA, 15224, USA.

Introduction: Magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) results in less severe side effects compared with Nissen fundoplication, but dysphagia remains the most common side effect reported by patients after MSA. This study aimed to characterize and review the management of postoperative dysphagia and identify the preoperative factors that predict persistent dysphagia after MSA.

Material And Methods: This is a retrospective review of prospectively collected data of patients who underwent MSA between 2013 and 2018. Preoperative objective evaluation included upper endoscopy, esophagram, high-resolution impedance manometry (HRIM), and esophageal pH testing. Postoperative persistent dysphagia was defined as a postoperative score of > 3 for the dysphagia-specific item within the GERD-HRQL at a minimum of 3 months following MSA. A timeline of dysphagia and dilation rates was constructed and correlated with the evolution of our patient management practices and modifications in surgical technique.

Results: A total of 380 patients underwent MSA, at a mean (SD) follow up of 11.5 (8.7) months, 59 (15.5%) patients were experiencing persistent dysphagia. Thirty-one percent of patients required at least one dilation for dysphagia or chest pain and the overall response rate to this procedure was 67%, 7 (1.8%) patients required device removal specifically for dysphagia. Independent predictors of persistent dysphagia based on logistic regression model included (1) absence of a large hernia (OR 2.86 (95% CI 1.08-7.57, p = 0.035)); (2) the presence of preoperative dysphagia (OR 2.19 (95% CI 1.05-4.58, p = 0.037)); and (3) having less than 80% peristaltic contractions on HRIM (OR 2.50 (95% CI 1.09-5.73, p = 0.031)). Graded cutoffs of distal contractile integral (DCI), mean wave amplitude, DeMeester score, sex, and body mass index were evaluated within the model and did not predict postoperative dysphagia. Frequent eating after surgery, avoidance of early dilation, and increase in the size of the LINX device selected decreased the need for dilation.

Conclusion: In a large cohort of patients who underwent MSA, we report 15.5% rate of persistent postoperative dysphagia. The overall response rate to dilation therapy is 67%, and the efficacy of dilation with each subsequent procedure reduces. Patients with normal hiatal anatomy, significant preoperative dysphagia, and less than 80% peristaltic contractions of the smooth muscle portion of the esophagus should be counseled that they have an increased risk for persistent postoperative dysphagia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11605-019-04331-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6987054PMC
January 2020

Comparison of surgical payer costs and implication on the healthcare expenses between laparoscopic magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) and laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication (LNF) in a large healthcare system.

Surg Endosc 2020 05 2;34(5):2279-2286. Epub 2019 Aug 2.

Esophageal and Lung Institute, Allegheny Health Network, 4815 Liberty Avenue, Suite 439, Pittsburgh, PA, 15224, USA.

Introduction: Magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) is a promising antireflux surgical treatment. The cost associated with the device may be perceived as a drawback by payers, which may limit the adoption of this technique. There are limited data regarding the cost of MSA in the management of reflux disease. The aims of the study were to report the clinical outcome and quality of life measures in patients after MSA and to compare the pharmaceutical and procedure payer costs and the disease-related and overall expense of MSA compared to laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication (LNF) from a payer perspective.

Methods And Procedures: This prospective observational study was performed in conjunction with the region's largest health insurance company. Data were collected on patients who underwent MSA over a 2-year period beginning in September 2015 at the study network hospitals. The LNF comparison group was procured from members' claims data of the payer. Inclusion was predicated by patients having continuous coverage during study period. The total procedural reimbursement and the disease-related and overall medical claims submitted up to 12 months prior to surgery and up to 12 months following surgery were obtained. The payer reimbursement data are presented as allowed cost per member per month (PMPM). These values were then compared between groups.

Results: There were 195 patients who underwent MSA and 1131 that had LNF. MSA results in comparable symptom control, PPI elimination rate, and quality of life measures compared to values reported for LNF in the literature. The median (IQR) reimbursement of surgery was $13,522 (13,195-14,439) for those who underwent MSA and $13,388 (9951-16,261) for patients with LNF, p = 0.02. In patients who underwent MSA, the median reimbursement related to the upper gastrointestinal disease was $ 305 PMPM, at 12 months prior to surgery and $ 104 at 12 months after surgery, representing 66% decrease in cost. These values were $ 233 PMPM and $126 PMPM for patients who underwent LNF, representing a 46% decrease (p = 0.0001). At 12 months following surgery, the reimbursement for overall medical expenses had decreased by 10.7% in the MSA group and 1.4% in the LNF group when compared to the preoperative baseline reimbursement. The reimbursement for PPI use after surgery showed a 95% decrease in the MSA group and 90% among LNF group when compared to the preoperative baseline (p = 0.10).

Conclusion: When compared with LNF, MSA results in a reduction of disease-related expenses for the payer in the year following surgery. While MSA is associated with a higher procedural payer cost compared to LNF, payer costs may offset due to reduction in the expenses after surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00464-019-07021-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7113225PMC
May 2020

Magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) in patients with hiatal hernia: clinical outcome and patterns of recurrence.

Surg Endosc 2020 04 8;34(4):1835-1846. Epub 2019 Jul 8.

Esophageal and Lung Institute, Allegheny Health Network, 4815 Liberty Avenue, Suite 439, Pittsburgh, PA, 15224, USA.

Introduction: Magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) is an effective treatment for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease. In early studies, patients with a hiatal hernia (HH) ≥ 3 cm were excluded from consideration for implantation and initially the FDA considered its use as "precautionary" in this context. This early approach has led to an attitude of hesitance among some surgeons to offer this therapy to patients with HH. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of HH status on the outcome of MSA and to report the rate of HH recurrence after MSA.

Methods And Procedures: This is a retrospective review of prospectively collected data of patients who underwent MSA between June 2013 and August 2017. Baseline clinical and objective data were collected. Patients were divided into four groups based on HH status: no HH, small HH (< 3 cm), large HH (≥ 3 cm), and paraesophageal hernia (PEH). Patient satisfaction, GERD-HRQL and RSI data, freedom from PPI, need for postoperative dilation, length of hospitalization, 90-day readmission rate, need for device removal, and HH recurrence was compared between groups.

Results: There were 350 patients [60% female, mean (SD) age: 53.5 (13.8)] who underwent MSA. There were 65 (18.6%) with no HH, 205 (58.6%) with small HH (< 3 cm), 58 (16.6%) with large HH (≥ 3 cm) and 22 (6.2%) with PEH. At a mean follow-up of 13.6 (10.4) months, the rate of outcome satisfaction was similar between the groups (86%, 87.9%, 92.2% and 93.8%, p = 0.72). This was also true for GERD-HRQL total score clinical improvement (79.1%, 77.8%, 82% and 87.5%, p = 0.77). The rate of postoperative dysphagia (p = 0.33) and freedom from PPIs (p = 0.96) were similar among the four groups. Duration of hospitalization was higher among those with a large HH or PEH, and only PEH patients had a higher 90-day readmission rate (p = 0.0004). There was no difference between the need for dilation among groups (p = 0.13). The need for device removal (5% overall) was similar between the four groups (p = 0.28). HH recurrence was 10% in all groups combined, and only 7 of 240 (2.9%) patients required reoperation; the majority of these patients underwent a minimal dissection approach (no hernia repair) at the index operation. The incidence of recurrent HH increased in direct correlation with the preoperative HH size (0%, 10.1%, 16.6 and 20%, p = 0.032).

Conclusion: In the largest series of MSA implantation, we demonstrate that the excellent outcomes and high degree of satisfaction after MSA are independent of the presence or size of HH. Despite higher rates of hernia recurrence in large HH and PEH patients, the rates of postoperative endoscopic intervention, and device removal is similar to those with no or small HH. The minimal dissection approach to MSA should be abandoned.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00464-019-06950-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7093380PMC
April 2020

Clinical Significance of Esophageal Outflow Resistance Imposed by a Nissen Fundoplication.

J Am Coll Surg 2019 08 16;229(2):210-216. Epub 2019 Apr 16.

Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Electronic address:

Background: Attention has been focused on the amplitude of esophageal body contraction to avoid persistent dysphagia after a Nissen fundoplication. The current recommended level is a contraction amplitude in the distal third of esophagus above the fifth percentile. We hypothesized that a more physiologic approach is to measure outflow resistance imposed by a fundoplication, which needs to be overcome by the esophageal contraction amplitude.

Study Design: The esophageal outflow resistance, as reflected by the intra-bolus pressure (iBP) measured 5 cm above the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), was measured in 53 normal subjects and 37 reflux patients with normal esophageal contraction amplitude, before and after a standardized Nissen fundoplication. All were free of postoperative dysphagia. A test population of 100 patients who had a Nissen fundoplication was used to validate the threshold of outflow resistance to avoid persistent postoperative dysphagia.

Results: The mean (SD) amplitude of the iBP in normal subjects was 6.8 (3.7) mmHg and in patients before fundoplication was 3.6 (7.0) mmHg (p = 0.003). After Nissen fundoplication, the mean (SD) amplitude of the iBP increased to 12.0 (3.2) mmHg (p < 0.0001 vs normal subjects or preoperative values). The 95th percentile value for iBP after a Nissen fundoplication was 20.0 mmHg and was exceeded by esophageal contraction in all patients in the validation population, and 97% of these patients were free of persistent postoperative dysphagia at a median 50-month follow-up.

Conclusions: Nissen fundoplication increases the outflow resistance of the esophagus and should be constructed to avoid an iBP > 20 mmHg. Patients whose distal third esophageal contraction amplitude is >20 mmHg have a minimal risk of dysphagia after a tension-free Nissen fundoplication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2019.03.024DOI Listing
August 2019

Self-inflicted burn injuries: Etiologies, risk factors and impact on institutional resources.

Burns 2019 02 19;45(1):213-219. Epub 2018 Nov 19.

Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 661, Rochester, NY 14642, United States. Electronic address:

Introduction: Self-inflicted burns are a rare cause of injury, accounting for only 1.0% of burns in the United States. While rare, the physical and psychosocial ramifications of these injuries are lasting. The goal of this study was to examine the etiologies, risk factors and outcomes of self-inflected burns in an urban setting.

Methods: Records of all patients presented to a regional burn center from July 2011 to June 2015 were reviewed. Those who sustained a self-inflected burn were identified and included in this study. Demographic data, psychiatric history, previous self-harm records, insurance status, injury circumstance, burn characteristic [location and total body surface area (TBSA)], need for excision and grafting, graft-take and duration of hospital stay and costs were reviewed. This group was then compared to a cohort of 166 patients with non-intentional burn during the same time frame matched for age and TBSA%.

Results: There were 34 patients with a mean (SD) age of 31 (15.2) who sustained a self-inflicted burn during the study period. The mean TBSA% was 2.8 (SD=5.1), with most injuries in the upper and lower extremities. Fifty three percent of the patients presented with altered mental status secondary to either psychiatric illness or intoxication. Twenty-four percent of incidents were claimed as suicide attempts and suicidal ideation was present in 47% of cases. Twenty-six percent of patients with a previous psychiatric diagnosis were not on a psychiatric medication prior to incident. There was record of previous self-harm in 26% of patients. When compared to control group of 166 patient with non-intentional burn, patients with self-inflicted burn had higher rates of substance abuse (35% vs. 13%, p<0.05), longer stay in the hospital (11.3 vs. 5.3 days, p<0.01), longer stay in the intensive care unit (1.8 vs. 0.2 days, p<0.01), and lower rates of insurance (15% vs. 42%, p<0.001). These patients also exhibited a higher need for excision and grafting (41% vs. 20%, p<0.01).

Conclusions: Patients with self-inflected burn have a higher rate of previous self-harm behavior, psychiatric comorbidities and substance abuse. These patients are more likely to require surgical excision and grafting and expanded institutional resources compared to those with non-intentional burn with similar degree and size of burn. Increased counseling of at-risk populations may help to decrease this potentially preventable method of injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.burns.2017.07.016DOI Listing
February 2019

Epidemiology and Outcomes of Auricular Burn Injuries.

J Burn Care Res 2018 04;39(3):326-331

Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY.

Auricular burns represent a unique type of injury. The acute management and clinical course of these injuries can be different from other facial burns. There is a paucity of literature pertaining to the epidemiology and acute management of auricular burns. Most studies focus on deformity reconstruction. The aim of this study was to characterize the epidemiology, treatment, and outcomes of auricular burns. Data from all patients presenting to a regional burn center in a 4-year period were reviewed and those with auricular burns were identified. Demographic data, burn mechanism, insurance status, method of treatment, need for skin grafting, percentage graft-take, time to reepithelialization and incidence of deformity were reviewed. During the study period, 593 facial burns were evaluated and 132 (22%) sustained burns to the auricle. The most common mechanisms of injury were flame (65.1%) and scalding (22.5%). Auricular burns were mostly second degree (88%), involved both ears in 44%, and involved only the ventral aspect of the ear in 57%. The majority of patients healed well with conservative management; none suffered from chondritis. Of the 89 patients followed to healing, 1 patient (1.1%) received full-thickness skin grafts to the auricle, resulting in excellent graft-take. All other patients were managed nonoperatively, and none suffered from ear deformities. Auricular burns occur with surprising frequency in patients presenting to burn centers. Careful acute management of these injuries can eliminate development of chondritis and minimize the rate of deformity and need for reconstruction. The majority of wounds heal with conservative management, but time to reepithelialization can be prolonged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BCR.0000000000000586DOI Listing
April 2018

Laparoscopic wedge fundectomy for collis gastroplasty creation in patients with a foreshortened esophagus.

Ann Surg 2014 Dec;260(6):1030-3

From the Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Objective: To assess the outcome of a laparoscopic wedge-fundectomy Collis gastroplasty for a short esophagus during fundoplication and hiatal hernia repair.

Background: The Collis gastroplasty provides a surgical solution for a foreshortened esophagus but has been associated with postoperative dysphagia and esophagitis.

Methods: We identified 150 patients who underwent a Collis gastroplasty from 1998 to 2012, and of these, 85 patients underwent laparoscopic procedures using the wedge-fundectomy technique.

Results: The median age of the 85 patients (42 men/43 women) was 66 years (range, 37-84 years). A Nissen fundoplication was added to the Collis gastroplasty in 56 patients (66%) and a Toupet fundoplication in 29 patients. No patient had a staple line leak or abscess, and the median hospital stay was 3.5 days (interquartile range, 3-4.5 days). At a median follow-up of 12 months, 93% of patients were free of heartburn. Dysphagia was significantly less common after surgery (preoperative: 58% vs postoperative: 16%; P < 0.0001). New-onset dysphagia developed in only 2 patients. An upper endoscopy was performed in 54 patients at a median of 6 months after surgery, and erosions above the fundoplication were seen in 6 patients (11%). A small (1-2 cm) recurrent hernia was seen in 2 patients (2.4%).

Conclusions: The laparoscopic wedge-fundectomy Collis gastroplasty can be performed safely and is associated with a low prevalence of new-onset dysphagia and esophagitis. The addition of a Collis gastroplasty to an antireflux operation is an effective strategy in patients with short esophagus, and its more liberal use is encouraged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0000000000000504DOI Listing
December 2014

Adenocarcinoma of the esophagus in the young.

J Gastrointest Surg 2013 Jun 6;17(6):1032-5. Epub 2013 Apr 6.

Division of Thoracic Foregut Surgery, Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Introduction: Practitioners have noted a striking increase in the number of young patients under the age of 40 years old who develop esophageal adenocarcinoma. The aim of this study was to characterize the presentation, pathology and therapeutic outcome of these young patients.

Methods: The records of patients who presented to the Foregut Surgical Service at the University of Southern California with esophageal adenocarcinoma between 2000 and 2007 were retrospectively reviewed. The presentation, tumor stage and histology, therapy and outcome of the patients under the age of 40 were compared to those ≥40.

Results: Of the 374 patients reviewed, 20 (5 %) were under the age of 40. There were two patients in their second and 18 in their third decade of life. The youngest patient was 25 years old. A history of gastroesophageal reflux disease or Barrett's esophagus was less common in patients <40 than in those ≥40; 15 and 5 % compared to 61 and 46 %. Similarly, patients <40 had a significantly longer time interval between the onset of symptoms and the diagnosis of their cancer than those ≥40; 4.5 vs. 2 months, p = 0.04. They also had a higher prevalence of stage IV disease (30 vs. 6 %, p = 0.0003), a shorter time to recurrence (9.5 vs.19 month, p = 0.002), and a poorer median survival (17 vs. 43 month, p = 0.04).

Conclusion: Esophageal adenocarcinoma in patients <40 years old commonly presents with an advanced stage of the disease and an associated poor survival. This is likely due to a low index of suspicion that dysphagia seen in younger patients is due to a malignancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11605-013-2177-6DOI Listing
June 2013

Minimally invasive surgical approach for the treatment of gastroparesis.

Surg Endosc 2013 Jan 30;27(1):61-6. Epub 2012 Jun 30.

Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.

Background: Gastroparesis is a chronic disorder resulting in decreased quality of life. The gastric electrical stimulator (GES) is an alternative to gastrectomy in patients with medically refractory gastroparesis. The aim of this study was to analyze the outcomes of patients treated with the gastric stimulator versus patients treated with laparoscopic subtotal or total gastrectomy.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed of all patients who had surgical treatment of gastroparesis from January 2003 to January 2012. Postoperative outcomes were analyzed and symptoms were assessed with the Gastroparesis Cardinal Symptom Index (GCSI).

Results: There were 103 patients: 72 patients (26 male/46 female) with a GES, implanted either with laparoscopy (n = 20) or mini-incision (n = 52), and 31 patients (9 male/22 female) who underwent laparoscopic subtotal (n = 27), total (n = 1), or completion gastrectomy (n = 3). Thirty-day morbidity rate (8.3% vs. 23%, p = 0.06) and in-hospital mortality rate (2.7% vs. 3%, p = 1.00) were similar for GES and gastrectomy. There were 19 failures (26%) in the group of GES patients; of these, 13 patients were switched to a subtotal gastrectomy for persistent symptoms (morbidity rate 7.7%, mortality 0). In total, 57% of patients were treated with GES while only 43% had final treatment with gastrectomy. Of the GES group, 63% rated their symptoms as improved versus 87% in the primary gastrectomy group (p = 0.02). The patients who were switched from GES to secondary laparoscopic gastrectomy had 100% symptom improvement. The median total GCSI score did not show a difference between the procedures (p = 0.12).

Conclusion: The gastric electrical stimulator is an effective treatment for medically refractory gastroparesis. Laparoscopic subtotal gastrectomy should also be considered as one of the primary surgical treatments for gastroparesis given the significantly higher rate of symptomatic improvement with acceptable morbidity and comparable mortality. Furthermore, the gastric stimulator patients who have no improvement of symptoms can be successfully treated by laparoscopic subtotal gastrectomy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00464-012-2407-0DOI Listing
January 2013

Gastroesophageal reflux and voice changes: objective assessment of voice quality and impact of antireflux therapy.

J Clin Gastroenterol 2012 Feb;46(2):119-23

Department of Surgery, University College London, London, UK.

Background And Aim: Voice-related complaints are the most common extraesophageal manifestation of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The aim of this study was to compare objectively measured voice parameters in normal subjects and patients with GERD and to assess the impact of antireflux surgery on these parameters in patients with reflux disease.

Methods: Normal subjects and patients with reflux symptoms were asked to read a standardized, phonetically balanced text while the impedance across vocal cords was recorded using electroglottography. Irregularity in the voice frequency (CFx) and amplitude (CAx) as well as irregularity of the closed phase ratio of vocal cords (CQx) were calculated. These 3 voice parameters were compared between the normal subjects and patients with gastroesophageal reflux. In a subgroup of GERD patients who underwent antireflux surgery, electroglottography was repeated 3 months or later after surgery and the voice parameters were compared with preoperative values.

Results: There were 55 normal subjects and 32 patients with GERD. Compared with normal subjects, GERD patients had a significantly higher irregularity in both voice frequency (P=0.04) and amplitude (P=0.03). The CQx did not differ significantly between the 2 groups (P=0.18). In 16 GERD patients who underwent surgery, a significant improvement in postoperative values was observed for both voice frequency (CFx: 48.4 vs. 30.4, P=0.002) and amplitude (CAx: 25.9 vs. 9.3, P=0.004).

Conclusions: There are measurable alterations in voice quality in patients with GERD when compared with normal subjects. Antireflux surgery improves the irregularity in both amplitude and frequency of voice in patients with reflux disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MCG.0b013e31822f386eDOI Listing
February 2012

Intraluminal pH and goblet cell density in Barrett's esophagus.

J Gastrointest Surg 2012 Mar 18;16(3):469-74. Epub 2011 Nov 18.

Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Introduction: Goblet cells in Barrett's esophagus (BE) vary in their density within the Barrett's segment. Exposure of Barrett's epithelium to bile acids is a major stimulant for goblet cell formation. The dissociation of bile acids into forms that penetrate Barrett's epithelium is known to be pH dependent. We hypothesized that variations in the esophageal luminal pH environment explains the variability in goblet cell density. The aim of this study was to correlate esophageal luminal pH with goblet cell density in patients with BE.

Methods: A customized six-sensor pH catheter was positioned with the most distal sensor in the stomach and the remaining sensors located 1 cm below and 1, 3, 5, and 8 cm above the upper border of the lower esophageal sphincter in five normal subjects and six patients with long-segment BE. The luminal pH was measured by each sensor for 24-h and expressed as median pH. Patients with BE had four quadrant biopsies at levels corresponding to the location of the pH sensors. Goblet cell density was graded from 0 to 3 based on the number per high-power field.

Results: In normal subjects, the median pH values recorded in the sensors within the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and esophageal body were all above 5. In patients with BE, the median pH recorded by the sensor within the LES was 2.8 and increased progressively to 4.7 in the sensor at 8 cm above the LES. Goblet cell density was significantly lower in the distal Barrett's segment exposed to a median pH of 2.2 and increased in the proximal Barrett's segment exposed to a median pH of 4.4 (p = 0.003).

Conclusion: Patients with BE have a goblet cell gradient that correlates directly with an esophageal luminal pH gradient. This suggests that goblet cell differentiation is pH dependent and likely due to the effect of pH on bile acid dissociation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11605-011-1776-3DOI Listing
March 2012

Thoraco-abdominal pressure gradients during the phases of respiration contribute to gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Dig Dis Sci 2011 Jun 22;56(6):1718-22. Epub 2011 Apr 22.

Division of Thoracic and Foregut Surgery, Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1510 San Pablo Street, Suite 514, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.

Background And Aims: Exaggerated pressure fluctuation between the thorax and abdomen during exercise or with pulmonary disease may challenge the gastroesophageal barrier and allow reflux of gastric juice into the esophagus. The aim of this study was to investigate the pressure differentials in the region of the gastroesophageal junction to better understand the relationship between the thoraco-abdominal pressure gradient and the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) barrier function.

Methods: We reviewed the esophageal motility and 24-h pH studies in 151 patients with a manometrically normal lower esophageal sphincter who did not have pulmonary disease, history of anti-reflux surgery, hiatal hernia, or ineffective esophageal motility (IEM). Intra-abdominal gastric and intra-thoracic esophageal pressure fluctuations with respiration were measured and the thoraco-abdominal pressure gradients were calculated during both inspiratory and expiratory phases of the respiratory cycle. Predictive factors for an abnormal composite pH score were identified by multivariable analysis.

Results: An inspiratory thoraco-abdominal pressure gradient that was higher than the resting LES pressure was found in 27 patients. In 23 of these patients (85.2%) there was increased esophageal acid exposure (OR 13.5, 95% CI 4.4-41.8). An abnormal composite pH score was predicted by a high inspiratory thoraco-abdominal pressure gradient (P < 0.001), greater fluctuation between inspiratory and expiratory thoracic pressure (P = 0.023), lower LES resting pressure (P = 0.049) and a decreased residual pressure after a swallow induced relaxation (P = 0.002).

Conclusions: The gastroesophageal barrier function of the LES can be overcome during times when the inspiratory thoraco-abdominal pressure gradient is increased, leading to reflux of gastric juice into the esophagus. This implies that exaggerated ventilatory effort, as occurs with exercise or in respiratory disease, can result in gastroesophageal reflux.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10620-011-1694-yDOI Listing
June 2011

Laparoscopic versus open repair of paraesophageal hernia: the second decade.

J Am Coll Surg 2011 May 23;212(5):813-20. Epub 2011 Mar 23.

Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Background: A decade ago we reported that laparoscopic repair of paraesophageal hernia (PEH) had an objective recurrence rate of 42% compared with 15% after open repair. Since that report we have modified our laparoscopic technique. The aim of this study was to determine if these modifications have reduced the rate of objective hernia recurrence.

Study Design: We retrospectively identified all patients that had primary repair of a PEH with ≥ 50% of the stomach in the chest from May 1998 to January 2010 with objective follow-up by videoesophagram. The finding of any size of hernia was considered to be recurrence.

Results: There were 73 laparoscopic and 73 open PEH repairs that met the study criteria. There were no significant differences in gender, body mass index, or prevalence of a comorbid condition between groups. The median follow-up was similar (12 months laparoscopic versus 16 months open; p = 0.11). In the laparoscopic group, 84% of patients had absorbable mesh reinforcement of the crural closure and 40% had a Collis gastroplasty, compared with 32% and 26%, respectively, in the open group. A recurrent hernia was identified in 27 patients (18%), 9 after laparoscopic repair and 18 after open repair (p = 0.09). The median size of a recurrent hernia was 3 cm, and the incidence of recurrence increased yearly in those with serial follow-up with no early peak or late plateau.

Conclusions: In our first decade of laparoscopic PEH repair, no mesh crural reinforcement was used, and no patient had a Collis gastroplasty. Evolution in the technique of laparoscopic PEH repair during the subsequent decade has reduced the hernia recurrence rate to that seen with an open approach. Reduced morbidity and shorter hospital stay make laparoscopy the preferred approach, but continued efforts to reduce hernia recurrence are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2011.01.060DOI Listing
May 2011

Day-to-day discrepancy in Bravo pH monitoring is related to the degree of deterioration of the lower esophageal sphincter and severity of reflux disease.

Surg Endosc 2011 Jul 27;25(7):2219-23. Epub 2011 Feb 27.

Division of Thoracic Foregut Surgery, Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1510 San Pablo Street, Suite 514, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.

Background: The Bravo capsule allows monitoring of esophageal acid exposure over a two-day period. Experience has shown that 24-32% of patients will have abnormal esophageal acid exposure detected on only one of the 2 days monitored. This variation has been explained by the effect of endoscopy and sedation. The aim of this study was to assess the day-to-day discrepancy following transnasal placement of the Bravo capsule without endoscopy or sedation and to determine factors related to this variability.

Methods: Bravo pH monitoring was performed by transnasal placement of the capsule in 310 patients. Patients were divided into groups based on the composite pH score: both days normal, both days abnormal and only one of the 2 days abnormal. Lower esophageal sphincter (LES) characteristics were compared between groups.

Results: Of the 310 patients evaluated, 60 (19%) showed a discrepancy between the 2 days. A total of 127 patients had a normal pH score on both days and 123 had an abnormal pH score on both days. Of the 60 patients with a discrepancy, 27 were abnormal the first day and 33 (55%) were abnormal the second day. Patients with abnormal esophageal acid exposure on both days had higher degrees of esophageal acid exposure and were more likely to have a defective LES compared to those with an abnormal score on only one day (35 vs. 83%, p=0.027).

Conclusion: Patients with a discrepancy between days of Bravo pH monitoring have lower esophageal acid exposure. Variability between the 2 days represents early deterioration of the gastroesophageal barrier and indicates less advanced reflux disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00464-010-1529-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3116124PMC
July 2011

The prevalence of lymph node metastases in patients with T1 esophageal adenocarcinoma a retrospective review of esophagectomy specimens.

Ann Surg 2011 Feb;253(2):271-8

Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1510 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.

Unlabelled: Knowledge of the risk of lymph node metastases is critical to planning therapy for T1 esophageal adenocarcinoma. This study retrospectively reviews 75 T1a and 51 T1b tumors and correlates lymph node metastases with depth of tumor invasion, tumor size, presence of lymphovascular invasion, and tumor grade.

Objectives: Increasingly, patients with superficial esophageal adenocarcinoma are being treated endoscopically or with limited surgical resection techniques. Since no lymph nodes are removed with these therapies, it is critical to have a clear understanding of the risk of lymph node metastases in these patients. The aim of this study was to define the risk of lymph node metastases for intramucosal and submucosal (T1) esophageal adenocarcinoma and to analyze factors potentially associated with an increased risk of lymph node involvement.

Methods: We reanalyzed the pathology specimens of all patients that had primary esophagectomy for T1 adenocarcinoma of the distal esophagus or gastroesophageal junction from January 1985 to December 2008. The prevalence of lymph node metastases was correlated with tumor size, depth of invasion, presence of lymphovascular invasion, and degree of tumor differentiation.

Results: There were 126 patients, 102 men (81%) and 24 women (19%), with a mean age of 64 (± 10) years. Tumor invasion was limited to the mucosa (T1a) in 75 patients (60%), whereas submucosal invasion (T1b) was present in 51 patients (40%). Tumors that had poor differentiation, lymphovascular invasion, and size ≥2 cm were significantly more likely to be invasive into the submucosa. Lymph node metastases were rare (1.3%) with intramucosal tumors but increased significantly with submucosal tumor invasion (22%)[P = 0.0003]. Lymph node metastases were also significantly associated with poor differentiation (P = 0.0015), lymphovascular invasion (P < 0.0001), and tumor size ≥2 cm (P = 0.01). Division of the submucosa into thirds did not show a layer with a significantly decreased prevalence of node metastases.

Conclusions: Adenocarcinoma invasive deeper than the muscularis mucosa is associated with a significant increase in the prevalence of lymph node metastases,and there is no "safe" level of invasion into the submucosa. Lymphovascular invasion, tumor size ≥2 cm, and poor differentiation are associated with an increased risk of submucosal invasion and lymph node metastases and should be factored into the decision for endoscopic therapy or esophagectomy
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181fbad42DOI Listing
February 2011

Endoscopic resection and ablation versus esophagectomy for high-grade dysplasia and intramucosal adenocarcinoma.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2011 Jan 5;141(1):39-47. Epub 2010 Nov 5.

Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif 90033, USA.

Background: Esophagectomy has been the traditional therapy for high-grade dysplasia and intramucosal adenocarcinoma. New endoscopic approaches allow treatment of these lesions with esophageal preservation. The aim of this study was to compare the outcome of endoscopic therapy with esophagectomy for high-grade dysplasia and intramucosal cancer.

Methods: A retrospective review was performed of all patients treated for high-grade dysplasia or intramucosal adenocarcinoma from 2001 to April 2010.

Results: Endoscopic therapy was performed in 40 patients (high-grade dysplasia = 22, intramucosal cancer = 18) and esophagectomy in 61 patients (high-grade dysplasia = 13, intramucosal cancer = 48). Endotherapy consisted of 102 endoscopic resections and 79 mucosal ablations (median 3 interventions per patient). In the endotherapy group, intramucosal cancer was completely resected in all patients. At last assessment, 10 patients have been converted to intestinal metaplasia without dysplasia and 21 to no residual intestinal metaplasia. Five patients have follow-up biopsy procedures pending after recent ablation, and esophagectomy was performed in 3 patients for failed endotherapy. A laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication has been performed in 8 patients after eradication of intestinal metaplasia. Esophagectomy resected the mucosal disease with negative margins in all patients. Compared with esophagectomy, endotherapy was associated with significantly lower morbidity (39% vs 0; P < .0001) and similar survival (94% at 3 years in both groups; median follow-up 34 months after esophagectomy vs 17 months after endotherapy; P = .0026).

Conclusions: Endoscopic therapy for high-grade dysplasia or intramucosal cancer has lower morbidity than an esophagectomy and similar survival during short-term follow-up, but required multiple procedures in most patients. Both therapies are appropriate options, but preservation of the esophagus allows the option of a fundoplication for reflux control, perhaps further improving long-term quality of life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2010.08.058DOI Listing
January 2011

Loss of alkalization in proximal esophagus: a new diagnostic paradigm for patients with laryngopharyngeal reflux.

J Gastrointest Surg 2010 Nov 11;14(11):1653-9. Epub 2010 Sep 11.

Department of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 1510 San Pablo Street, Suite 514, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.

Introduction: Cervical esophageal pH monitoring using a pH threshold of <4 in the diagnosis of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is disappointing. We hypothesized that failure to maintain adequate alkalization instead of acidification of the cervical esophagus may be a better indicator of cervical esophageal exposure to gastric juice. The aim of this study was to define normal values for the percent time the cervical esophagus is exposed to a pH ≥7 and to use the inability to maintain this as an indicator for diagnosis of LPR.

Material And Methods: Fifty-nine asymptomatic volunteers had a complete foregut evaluation including pH monitoring of the cervical esophagus. Cervical esophageal exposure to a pH <4 was calculated, and the records were reanalyzed using the threshold pH ≥7. The sensitivity of these two pH thresholds was compared in a group of 51 patients with LPR symptoms that were completely relieved after an antireflux operation.

Results: Compared to normal subjects, patients with LPR were less able to maintain an alkaline pH in the cervical esophagus, as expressed by a lower median percent time pH ≥ 7 (10.4 vs. 38.2, p < 0.0001). In normal subjects, the fifth percentile value for percent time pH ≥ 7 in the cervical esophagus was 19.6%. In 84% of the LPR patients (43/51), the percent time pH ≥ 7 were below the threshold of 19.6%. In contrast, 69% (35/51) had an abnormal test when the pH records were analyzed using the percent time pH < 4. Of the 16 patients with a false negative test using pH < 4, 11 (69%) were identified as having an abnormal study when the threshold of pH ≥ 7 was used.

Conclusion: Normal subjects should have a pH ≥7 in cervical esophagus for at least 19.6% of the monitored period. Failure to maintain this alkaline environment is a more sensitive indicator in the diagnosis of the LPR and identifies two thirds of the patients with a false negative test using pH <4.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11605-010-1327-3DOI Listing
November 2010