Incidence of metachronous visible lesions in patients referred for radiofrequency ablation (RFA) therapy for early Barrett's neoplasia: a single-centre experience.
OBJECTIVE: Evaluate the incidence of metachronous visible lesions (VLs) in patients referred for radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for early Barrett's neoplasia. DESIGN: This study was conducted as part of the service evaluation audit. SETTING: Tertiary referral centre. PATIENTS: All patients with dysplastic Barrett's oesophagus referred for RFA were included for analysis. White light high-resolution endoscopy (HRE), autofluorescence imaging and narrow band imaging were sequentially performed. Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) was performed for all VL. Three to six months after EMR, all patients underwent initial RFA and then repeat RFA procedures at three monthly intervals. INTERVENTIONS: All endoscopy reports and final staging by EMR/surgery were evaluated and included for analysis. RESULTS: Fifty patients were analysed; median age 73 years, 84% men. 38/50 patients (76%) had a previous EMR due to the presence of VL before referred for ablation; twelve patients had no previous treatment. In total, 151 ablation procedures were performed, median per patient 2.68. Twenty metachronous VL were identified in 14 patients before the first ablation or during the RFA protocol; incidence was 28%. All metachronous lesions were successfully resected by EMR. Upstaging after rescue EMR compared with the initial histology was observed in four patients (28%). CONCLUSIONS: In total, 28% of patients enrolled in the RFA programme were diagnosed to have metachronous lesions. This high-incidence rate highlights the importance of a meticulous examination to identify and resect any VL before every ablation session. RFA treatment for early Barrett's neoplasia should be performed in tertiary referral centres with HRE and EMR facilities and expertise.