Natural history and management of refractory benign esophageal strictures

Alessandro Repici, Aaron J. Small, Aaron Mendelson, Manol Jovani, Loredana Correale, Cesare Hassan, Lorenzo Ridola, Andrea Anderloni, Elisa Chiara Ferrara, Michael L. Kochman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Aims: The natural history of refractory benign esophageal strictures (RBES) is unclear, and surgery or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) may be the only viable long-term options. The aim of the present study was to assess the long-term outcomes of patients with RBES. Methods: Clinical data of consecutive patients with RBES treated in the previous 15 years in 2 tertiary-care referral academic centers with specialized interest in esophageal stricture management were retrospectively analyzed. RBES was defined as the persistence and/or recurrence of dysphagia despite at least 5 dilation sessions and/or cycles with dilation to at least 14 mm. Information regarding the use of dilation or stents and the dysphagia-free period between subsequent interventions and adverse events was collected. Clinical success was defined as no need for endoscopic interventions for at least 6 months; unfavorable outcomes were defined as the need for endoscopic treatment at the end of follow-up, surgery, or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). Predictors of unfavorable outcomes were assessed by multivariate analysis. A linear mixed-effect model was used to measure dysphagia-free period changes over time. Results: Overall, 70 patients with RBES (46 male; mean age 60 years) were followed for a mean of 43.9 months (range 3.7-157 months). Caustic, postradiotherapy, surgical, mixed, and postinflammatory etiology accounted for 10%, 14.3%, 31.4%, 40%, and 4.3% of causes, respectively. All patients underwent sequential sessions of pneumatic or bougie dilation, with a median of 15.5 dilation sessions per patient. Self-expandable metal stents (SEMSs) and biodegradable stents were placed in 18 (25.7%) and 14 (20%) patients, respectively. RBES resolution was achieved in only 22 of 70 (31.4%) patients. Two deaths (3%) were related to RBES. The success rate was lower in those who also were treated with endoprosthetics (odds ratio [OR] 3.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01-18.0). The mean dysphagia-free period was 3.3 months (95% CI, 2.4-4.1) for patients treated with dilation and 2.4 months (95% CI, 1.2-3.6) for those treated with stents (P = .062). Over time, the total dysphagia-free period increased at a rate of 4.1 days (95% CI, 1.7-6.4) per dilation. There was no difference in the rate of change across groups defined by sex (P = .976), age (P = .633), or endoscopic treatment (P = .267). Conclusions: Our multicenter series showed a disappointing long-term outcome for RBES, with only 1 of 3 achieving clinical resolution. The dysphagia-free period was relatively short, affecting the quality of life. Endoprosthetics did not appear to affect the natural history of RBES.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGastrointestinal Endoscopy
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Oct 14 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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