Efficacy and Safety of Argon Plasma Coagulation for the Ablation of Barrett's Esophagus: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis.

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Gut Liver


BACKGROUND/AIMS: Argon plasma coagulation (APC) is an alternate ablative method to radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of Barrett's esophagus (BE), and it is preferred due to its lower cost and widespread availability. The present meta-analysis aimed to analyze the safety and efficacy of APC for the management of BE.

METHODS: A literature search from January 2000 to November 2022 was done for studies analyzing the outcome of APC in BE. The primary outcomes were clearance rate of intestinal metaplasia and adverse events (AE). Pooled event rates were expressed with summative statistics.

RESULTS: A total of 38 studies were included in the final analysis. The pooled event rate for clearance rate of intestinal metaplasia with APC in BE was 86.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 83.5% to 90.2%), with high-power and hybrid APC having a higher rate compared to standard APC. The pooled incidence of AE with APC in BE was 22.5% (95% CI, 15.3% to 29.7%), without any significant difference between the subgroups, with self-limited chest pain being the commonest AE. The incidence of serious AE was only 0.4% (95% CI, 0.0% to 1.0%), while stricture development was seen only in 1.7% (95% CI, 0.9% to 2.6%) of cases. The pooled recurrence rate of BE was 16.1% (95% CI, 10.7% to 21.6%), with a significantly lower recurrence with high-power APC than standard APC.

CONCLUSIONS: High-power and hybrid APC seem to have an advantage over standard APC in terms of clearance rate and recurrence rate. Further studies are required to compare the efficacy and safety of hybrid APC with standard APC and radiofrequency ablation.





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