3 years ago

Endoscopic mucosal resection versus esophagectomy for intramucosal adenocarcinoma in the setting of barrett’s esophagus

Harry Henteleff, Denise Tami Yamashita, Drew Bethune, James Ellsmere, Jeffrey David Hawel, Chao Li



Esophagectomy has been the standard of care for patients with intramucosal adenocarcinoma (IMC) in the setting of Barrett’s esophagus. It is, however, associated with significant post-operative morbidity and mortality. Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) offers a minimally invasive approach with lesser morbidity. This study investigates the transition from esophagectomy to EMR for IMC with respect to eradication rates, post-operative morbidity, and long-term survival.


Patients diagnosed with IMC from 2005 to 2013 were identified retrospectively. Beginning in 2009, preferred initial therapy for IMC transitioned from esophagectomy to EMR. Esophagectomy was performed either through a transthoracic or transhiatal technique. EMR was repeated until resolution of IMC on pathology or progression of disease. Continuous data are expressed as mean (SD) and analyzed using Student’s t test. Categorical data are presented as number (%) and analyzed using Fisher’s exact test.


We identified 23 patients; 12 patients underwent esophagectomy and 11 patients underwent EMR as initial therapy. Patients were similar with respects to age, gender, and comorbidity index. Most tumors arose from short segment (vs long segment) Barrett’s (esophagectomy: 9 (75%) vs. EMR: 10 (91%), p = 0.59) and one patient in each group had superficial invasion into the submucosa (T1sm1), the remainder having mucosal disease. Esophagectomy was associated with 7 (58%) minor complications and 2 (17%) major complications (respiratory failure, anastomotic leak), whereas there were no complications related to EMR (p < 0.01). EMR successfully eradicated IMC in 10 patients (91%) with one progressing to esophagectomy. Patients required 2 (1) endoscopies to achieve eradication. There was one mortality in each group on long-term follow-up (log-rank test, p = 0.62).


EMR was successful in eradicating IMC in 10/11 patients with similar long-term recurrence and mortality to esophagectomy patients. Patients with IMC may benefit from EMR as initial therapy by obviating the need for a complex and morbid operation.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00464-017-5479-z

DOI: 10.1007/s00464-017-5479-z

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