Detection of premalignant lesions in the upper gastrointestinal tract may facilitate endoscopic treatment and improve survival. Despite technological advances in white light endoscopy, its ability to detect premalignant lesions remains limited. Early detection could be improved by using advanced endoscopic imaging techniques, such as magnification endoscopy, narrow band imaging, i-scanning, flexible spectral imaging color enhancement, autofluorescence imaging, and confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE), as these techniques may increase the rate of detection of mucosal abnormalities and allow optical diagnosis. The present review focuses on advanced endoscopic imaging techniques based on the use of CLE for diagnosing premalignant lesions in Barrett esophagus and stomach.
Barrett esophagus; Stomach neoplasms; Endoscopy; Confocal laser endomicroscopy; Molecular imaging
Stricture frequently occurs after endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) for superficial esophageal carcinoma with near- or whole-circumferential mucosal defects, and post-ESD stricture is difficult to treat and usually requires multiple sessions of endoscopic balloon dilatation. Intralesional steroid injection has previously been used to prevent stricture; however, there have been few experiences with this method after near- or whole-circumferential ESD. We present a case of a single session of intralesional steroid injection performed immediately after near-circumferential ESD to prevent post-ESD stricture. After a follow-up period of 6 months, the patient showed good outcome without dysphagia.
Injections, intralesional; Esophageal stenosis; Endoscopic submucosal dissection; Esophageal neoplasms
Endoscopic mucosal resection was introduced in the 1990s, and endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) in 2003. Currently, ESD is becoming the main procedure for the resection of early gastric cancer (EGC) and is leading to the development of extended indications for endoscopic resection. Many reports showed that the endoscopic and oncologic outcome of endoscopic treatment in the extended indication group was acceptable in terms of curability and safety. Especially, ESD showed better results to remove extended indication EGCs with relatively high resection rate and low local recurrence rate. However, more long-term follow-up data are needed for clinical application of the extended criteria of ESD due to the risk of lymph node metastasis. We should also keep in mind that accurate diagnosis, characterization of the lesion, and proper appreciation of technical aspects are most essential in therapeutic endoscopy.
Endoscopic submucosal dissection; Early gastric cancer; Extended indication; Long-term outcome
The CYP2C19 polymorphism plays an important role in the metabolism of various proton-pump inhibitors. Several trials have produced conflicting data on eradication rates of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) among CYP2C19 genotypes. We investigated whether the CYP2C19 genotype affects the eradication rate of H. pylori by direct comparing the effects of lansoprazole- and rabeprazole-based triple therapies.
A total of 492 patients infected with H. pylori was randomly treated with either 30 mg of lansoprazole or 20 mg of rabeprazole plus 500 mg of clarithromycin and 1,000 mg of amoxicillin twice daily for 1 week. CYP2C19 genotype status was determined by a PCR-restriction-fragment-length polymorphism method. After 7 to 8 weeks, H. pylori status was evaluated by a C13-urea breath test.
Four hundred and sixty-three patients were analyzed, and the eradication rate was 75.2% in a per-protocol analysis. Eradication rates for the lansoprazole regimen (n=234) were 73.8%, 80.7%, and 85.4% in the homozygous extensive (HomEM), heterozygous extensive (HetEM), and poor metabolizers (PM) groups, respectively (p=0.303). In the case of the rabeprazole regimen (n=229), the eradication rates were 68.6%, 73.0%, and 71.9% in the HomEM, HetEM, and PM groups, respectively (p=0.795).
The efficacies of triple therapies that include lansoprazole or rabeprazole are not affected by CYP2C19 genetic polymorphisms.
Helicobacter pylori; CYP2C19; Proton pump inhibitor; Lansoprazole; Rabeprazole
Biofeedback therapy (BFT) can be unsuccessful in constipated patients, even those with pelvic floor dysfunction. Electrical stimulation therapy (EST) has been introduced as a novel therapeutic modality in patients with chronic constipation, especially those who have rectal hyposensitivity. We evaluated the efficacy of EST based on five years' clinical experience.
From January 2002 to February 2007, 159 patients underwent EST. After exclusion of 12 drop-outs, 147 (M:F = 61:86, 49 ± 17 years) finished all treatment sessions. Among them, 88 (M:F = 29:59, 49 ± 17 years) were refractory to BFT without rectal hyposensitivity (RH), and 59 (M:F = 32:27, 54 ± 17 years) were those with RH.
The overall response to EST was 59.2% (87/147) by per-protocol analysis. In the EST-responsive group, overall satisfaction improved significantly (from 7.3 ± 3.0 to 4.3 ± 2.5, P < 0.05). Subgroup analysis showed that the response rate was 64.8% (57/88) in patients refractory to BFT without RH, and 50.8% (30/59) in those with RH.
EST may have additional therapeutic efficacy in patients who are refractory to BFT. EST may also be effective in patients with RH, including restoration of rectal sensation. Therefore, EST could be considered as an alternative choice in patients refractory to BFT and with or without RH.
Biofeedback; Constipation; Electric stimulation therapy
Bezoars are concretions of undigested material and are most often observed in the stomach. They can occur at any site in the gastrointestinal tract; however, duodenal localization is very rare. We report the case of a 71-year-old male who had undergone subtotal gastrectomy with gastroduodenostomy and experienced severe epigastric discomfort, abdominal pain, and vomiting for a few days. An approximately 7×8 cm-sized mass was found on an abdominal computed tomography scan. On following endoscopy, a large bezoar was revealed in the duodenum and was removed using an endoscopic removal technique, assisted by a large amount of Coca-Cola infusion.
Endoscopy; Gastrectomy; Phytobezoar
There are fewer patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in Korea compared with Western countries. The incidence of GERD has increased in recent years however, concerning many physicians. Here, we report our early experiences of using a recently introduced method of laparoscopic antireflux surgery for the treatment of GERD in Korean patients.
Fifteen patients with GERD were treated using antireflux surgery between May 2009 and February 2012 at the University of Ulsan College of Medicine and Asan Medical Center. Laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication with 360° wrapping was performed on all patients.
Eleven male and four female patients were evaluated and treated with an average age of 58.1 ± 14.1 years. The average surgical time was 118.9 ± 45.1 minutes, and no complications presented during surgery. After surgery, the reflux symptoms of each patient were resolved; only two patients developed transient dysphagia, which resolved within one month. One patient developed a 6-cm hiatal hernia that had to be repaired and reinforced using mesh.
The use of laparoscopic surgery for the treatment of GERD is safe and feasible. It is also an efficacious method for controlling the symptoms of GERD in Korean patients. However, the use of this surgery still needs to be standardized (e.g., type of surgery, bougienage size, wrap length) and the long-term outcomes need to be evaluated.
Gastroesophageal reflux; Antireflux surgery; Nissen fundoplication; Laparoscopy
It is well known that gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphomas are associated with Helicobacter pylori infection and have a good prognosis. However, although rare, these low-grade lymphomas transform to the high-grade diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCLs) which are thought to be the important cause of death in patients with MALT lymphoma. We report two cases of DLBCLs in the cervical lymph nodes that occurred 10 years and 1.5 years after diagnosing low-grade gastric MALT lymphomas.
Lymphoma, B-cell, marginal zone; Lymphoma, large B-cell, diffuse; Stomach neoplasms; Helicobacter pylori
The pathophysiologic mechanism of rectal hyposensitivity (RH) is not well documented, and the significance of RH in biofeedback therapy (BFT) has not been evaluated. Thus, we aimed to assess the effect of BFT in constipated patients according to the presence of RH.
Five hundred and ninety constipated patients (238 males and 352 females) underwent anorectal physiologic assessments. Of these, anorectal manometry was performed before and after BFT in 244 patients (63 RH and 181 non-RH patients).
The success rate of BFT was 56% in the RH and 61% in the non-RH group (p=0.604). The measurements of resting pressure, squeezing pressure, desire to defecate volume, urge to defecate volume, and maximum volume were decreased after BFT in the RH group (p<0.05), whereas only resting and squeezing pressures were decreased in the non-RH group (p<0.05). Among the RH group, individuals who responded to BFT showed decreased resting pressure, squeezing pressure, desire to defecate, urge to defecate, and maximum volume and increased balloon expulsion rate; among those who did not respond to BFT, only desire to defecate volume was improved.
In constipated patients with RH, changes of anorectal manometric findings differed in comparison to patients without RH. The responses to BFT showed both anorectal muscle relaxation and restoration of rectal sensation.
Anorectal manometry; Biofeedback; Constipation; Rectum; Sensation
A 66-year-old female presented with a 1-month history of dyspepsia. An initial upper gastrointestinal endoscopy with biopsy revealed a low-grade mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. A rapid urease test was positive for Helicobacter pylori. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and computed tomography (CT) revealed a 30×15-mm lymph node (LN) in the subcarinal area. Histopathologic and phenotypic analyses of the biopsy specimens obtained by EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration revealed a MALT lymphoma, and the patient was diagnosed with a stage 4E gastric MALT lymphoma. One year after H. pylori eradication, the lesion had disappeared, as demonstrated by endoscopy with biopsy, CT, fusion whole-body positron emission tomography, and EUS. Here, we describe a patient with gastric MALT lymphoma that metastasized to the mediastinal LN and regressed following H. pylori eradication.
Marginal zone B-cell lymphoma; Stomach
ALADIN gene has been known to cause achalasia, alacrima, adrenal abnormalities and a progressive neurological syndrome. A considerable proportion of achalasia patients has been known to show alacrima (decreased secretion of tear). However, the genetic mechanism between achalasia and alacrima has not been defined yet. We postulated that ALADIN gene may be involved in the occurrence of early-onset achalasia; thus, we investigated the correlation of ALADIN gene in early-onset achalasia patients.
From 1989 to 2007, patients who were diagnosed as primary achalasia before age 35 were enrolled. All of the enrolled patients were asked for (1) blood sampling for DNA, (2) Shirmer test and (3) dysphagia questionnaires.
The ALADIN gene in exon 1, 2, 10, 11 and 12 from 19 patients was investigated (M:F = 12:7). The mean age of patients at diagnosis was 27 ± 5 (15-35) years old. Eight out of 19 (42%) showed alacrima by the positive Shirmer test. In spite of thorough exam in the genetic study, there was no definite abnormal genetic finding in this study.
A considerable number of achalasia patients showed alacrima. Due to the limitation of this study, it is difficult to conclude that early-onset achalasia may have significant correlations with the ALADIN gene.
AAAS protein; Esophageal achalasia; Human; Shirmer test
The levels of pepsinogen (PG) I and the PGI/II ratio are useful serologic markers for chronic atrophic gastritis. This study evaluated the performance and clinical implications of these markers in patients undergoing endoscopic mucosectomy.
We enrolled 142 consecutive patients with early gastric tumors and Helicobacter pylori infection who were eligible for mucosectomy. Chronic gastritis and atrophy were assessed using four defined biopsy procedures. Serum PGs were measured by an enzyme immunoassay. Optimal diagnostic cut-offs and performance were determined using receiver operating characteristic curves.
The PGI level and the PGI/II ratio decreased with corpus-dominant gastritis and as atrophy advanced toward the corpus greater curvature (GC). For the presence of corpus GC atrophy, the areas under the PGI and PGI/II-ratio curves were 0.82 and 0.77, respectively. The optimal cut-off levels were 59.3µg/L for PGI (sensitivity, 83.3%; specificity, 78.4%) and 3.6µg/L for PGI/II ratio (sensitivity, 70.0%; specificity, 78.4%). Using these serologic cut-off levels, we found that the frequency of corpus tumor location differed significantly (32.9% vs 11.1% for PGI <59.3 and ≥59.3µg/L, respectively; and 31.1% vs 14.8% for PGI/II ratio <3.5 and ≥3.5, respectively; p<0.05).
A low PGI level and PGI/II ratio are valuable serologic markers for predicting corpus GC atrophy, and have clinical implications with respect to the corpus location of tumors in mucosectomy patients.
Pepsinogens; Atrophic gastritis; Stomach neoplasia; Helicobacter pylori; Endoscopy
Benign bronchoesophageal fistula (BEF) is a rare condition that is usually treated surgically; however, less invasive endoscopy procedures have been attempted to overcome the disadvantages of surgery. The aim of this study was thus to determine the results of endoscopic management as a primary treatment in patients with BEF.
We retrospectively analyzed data from 368 patients with BEF who were treated at a tertiary care, academic medical center between January 2000 and August 2009.
Benign causes were found for only 18 of the 368 patients. Of these, seven were treated endoscopically and the others by surgery or other methods. The first endoscopy procedures failed in all seven patients, with second trials of endoscopy performed in four patients at a median of 8 days (range, 3 to 11 days) after the first procedure. The second endoscopic procedure was successful in two out of four patients; one patient showed no recurrence of the fistula, whereas the second patient experienced a recurrence after 24 months. All patients underwent successful surgical procedures after the failure of endoscopic treatment, with no further recurrences.
Although we observed a low rate of success for primary endoscopic treatment of benign BEF, the invasive nature of surgery suggests the need for a prospective study with a large number of patients to evaluate the efficacy of less invasive procedures such as endoscopic treatment.
Esophageal fistula; Endoscopy; Fibrin glue
Helicobacter pylori eradication may facilitate the healing of iatrogenic ulcer after endoscopic resection of gastric neoplasm. This study involved designing a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial, performed by the Korean College of Helicobacter and Upper Gastrointestinal Research and the Medical Research Collaboration Center, Seoul National University Hospital.
We intend to enroll up to 232 patients H.-pylori-positive patients who have gastric adenoma or early gastric cancer after endoscopic resection. The enrolled patients are being randomly allocated to the H.-pylori-eradication-plus-proton-pump-inhibitor group or the placebo-plus-proton-pump-inhibitor group based on their histology results and the size of the resected specimen. After random allocation, the iatrogenic ulcer size and stage are evaluated at 4- and 8-week follow-ups (with a window of ±7 days). The primary end point is the healing rate of the ulcer by stage, and the secondary end point is the rate of ulcer size reduction, relief rate from ulcer-related symptoms, and adverse-event rates.
More than 90% of the target subjects have already been enrolled into the study and are receiving ongoing periodic monitoring by the Medical Research Collaboration Center.
Completion of the study should reveal whether H. pylori eradication can facilitate the healing of ulcer after endoscopic resection in Korea.
Helicobacter pylori; Iatrogenic ulcer; Endoscopic resection; Eradication; Medical Research Collaboration Center
Ambulatory 24-hr esophageal pH monitoring is considered the gold standard for diagnosing gastroesophageal reflux disease. The aim of this study was to establish normal values for gastroesophageal acid exposure in healthy Koreans. Fifty healthy volunteers (24 males and 26 females; mean age, 45 yr) without reflux symptoms and without reflux esophagitis or hiatal hernia on upper endoscopy underwent ambulatory 24-hr esophageal pH monitoring after esophageal manometry. The 95th percentiles for the reflux parameters were: the percent total time pH <4, 3.7%; the percent upright time pH <4, 5.7%; the percent supine time pH <4, 1.0%; the number of reflux episodes with pH <4, 76.5; the number of reflux episodes with pH <4 for >5 min, 1.5; the duration of the longest episode, 12.5 min; and the composite score, 14.2. Age and gender were not associated with any of the pH parameters. In conclusion, physiological gastroesophageal reflux occurs in healthy Koreans. These normal esophageal pH values will provide reference data for clinical and research studies in Korea.
Gastroesophageal Reflux; Ambulatory 24-hr Esophageal pH Monitoring; Reference Values
The incidence of Barrett's cancer is increasing in Western countries, but there have been only a few case reports of this condition in Korea. The aim of this study was to elucidate the endoscopic and pathologic characteristics of Barrett's cancer in a single center in Korea.
We retrospectively reviewed the demographic, endoscopic, and pathologic characteristics of six patients with Barrett's cancer, defined as a tumor centered above the esophagogastric junction and surrounded by Barrett's esophagus.
All six patients were male, and three (50%) were symptomatic. Barrett's cancer had developed from short-segment Barrett's esophagus in all patients. All tumors were located on the right side of the lower esophagus and showed hyperemic mucosal changes. Three patients were treated surgically and three by endoscopic resection. All cases had pathologic evidence of Barrett's cancer.
Early detection of Barrett's cancer requires meticulous endoscopic observations of subtle mucosal color and morphological changes around the esophagogastric junction.
Barrett esophagus; Esophageal neoplasms
Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection induces a chronic inflammatory response, which promotes gastric carcinogenesis. 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15–PGDH) plays a key role as a tumor suppressor in gastrointestinal cancers. The aim of this study was to elucidate the role of 15-PGDH in gastric carcinogenesis associated with H pylori. 15-PGDH expression in gastric biopsies from H pylori-infected (n=25) and non-infected (n=15) subjects was analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR, western blot analysis, and immunohistochemisty. 15-PGDH DNA methylation was evaluated by methylation specific PCR and pyrosequencing. The expression of 15-PGDH, Snail, ERK1/2, TLR4 and MyD88 in response to H pylori infection was assessed by immunoblot analysis. Compared to negative specimens, H pylori positive specimens had 2-fold lower 15-PGDH mRNA levels and significantly less 15-PGDH protein. In four H pylori infected subjects with longitudinal follow-up, the suppression of 15-PGDH expression was reversed by H pylori eradication therapy. In parallel with suppressing 15-PGDH expression, H pylori infection activated expression of TLR4 and MyD88 expression, increased levels of phospho-ERK1/2, and increased expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-Snail. Inhibition of Snail and MyD88 reversed suppression of 15-PGDH expression and small interfering Myd88 reduced phosphorylated ERK1/2. Similarly, treatment with an ERK1/2 and EGFR inhibitor also restored 15-PGDH expression. Heliocobacter pylori appeared to promote gastric carcinogenesis by suppressing15-PGDH. This process is mediated by the TLR4/MyD88 pathway via ERK1/2 or EGFR - Snail transcriptional regulation. 15-PGDH may be a useful marker and a potential therapeutic target in H pylori-induced gastric carcinogenesis.
Gastric cancer; Helicobacter pylori; 15-prostaglandin dehydrogenase