We investigated the clinical outcomes according to the method of treatment in synchronous esophageal and gastric cancer.
Synchronous esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and gastric adenocarcinoma were diagnosed in 79 patients between 1996 and 2010. We divided the patients into four groups according to treatment; Group 1 received surgical resection for both cancers or surgery for gastric cancer with chemoradiotherapy for esophageal cancer (n=27); Group 2 was treated by endoscopic resection with or without additional treatment (n=14); Group 3 received chemoradiotherapy only (n=18); and Group 4 received supportive care only (n=20).
The median survival times in groups 1 and 2 were 86 and 60 months, respectively. The recurrence rate and mortality were 23% and 48%, respectively, in group 1 and 21% and 4%, respectively, in group 2. The median survival time was 12 months in group 3 and 9 months in group 4. Multivariate analysis showed that age (p<0.001) and treatment group (p=0.019) were significantly associated with death. Compared with group 1, treatment in the intensive care unit (p=0.003), loss of body weight (p=0.042), and decrease in hemoglobin (p=0.033) were worse in group 1.
Endoscopic resection for synchronous esophageal and gastric cancer could be considered as a possible alternative to surgery for early-stage cancer.
Synchronous; Esophageal neoplasms; Stomach neoplasms
With technical and instrumental advances, the endoscopic removal of bezoars is now more common than conventional surgical removal. We investigated the clinical outcomes in a patient cohort with gastrointestinal bezoars removed using different treatment modalities.
Between June 1989 and March 2012, 93 patients with gastrointestinal bezoars underwent endoscopic or surgical procedures at the Asan Medical Center. These patients were divided into endoscopic (n=39) and surgical (n=54) treatment groups in accordance with the initial treatment modality. The clinical feature and outcomes of these two groups were analyzed retrospectively.
The median follow-up period was 13 months (interquartile range [IQR], 0 to 77 months) in 93 patients with a median age of 60 years (IQR, 50 to 73 years). Among the initial symptoms, abdominal pain was the most common chief complaint (72.1%). The bezoars were commonly located in the stomach (82.1%) in the endoscopic treatment group and in the small bowel (66.7%) in the surgical treatment group. The success rates of endoscopic and surgical treatment were 89.7% and 98.1%, and the complication rates were 12.8% and 33.3%, respectively.
Endoscopic removal of a gastrointestinal bezoar is an effective treatment modality; however, surgical removal is needed in some cases.
Bezoars; Endoscopy; Surgery
Proton pump inhibitor (PPI)-based triple therapy consisting of PPI, amoxicillin, and clarithromycin, is the recommended first-line treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection. However, the eradication rate of triple therapy has declined over the past few decades. We analyzed the eradication rate and adverse events of triple therapy to evaluate current practices in Korea. A comprehensive literature search was performed up to August 2013 of 104 relevant studies comprising 42,124 patients. The overall eradication rate was 74.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 72.1%-77.2%) by intention-to-treat analysis and 82.0% (95% CI, 80.8%-83.2%) by per-protocol analysis. The eradication rate decreased significantly from 1998 to 2013 (P < 0.001 for both intention-to-treat and per-protocol analyses). Adverse events were reported in 41 studies with 8,018 subjects with an overall incidence rate of 20.4% (95% CI, 19.6%-21.3%). The available data suggest that the effectiveness of standard triple therapy for H. pylori eradication has decreased to an unacceptable level. A novel therapeutic strategy is warranted to improve the effectiveness of first-line treatment for H. pylori infection in Korea.
Helicobacter pylori; Eradication; Triple Therapy
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
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
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
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
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
Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) is a widely accepted treatment for early gastric and esophageal cancer. Compared to endoscopic mucosal resection, ESD has the advantage of enabling en bloc removal of tumors regardless of their size. However, ESD can result in a large artificial ulcer, which may lead to a considerable deformity. Circumferential mucosal defects of more than three-fourths the esophageal circumference, long longitudinal mucosal defects (>30 mm), and lesions in the upper esophagus are significant risk factors for the development of post-ESD strictures of the esophagus. In the stomach, a circumferential mucosal defects more than three-fourths in extent and longitudinal mucosal defects >5 cm are risk factors of post-ESD stricture. If scheduled early, regular endoscopic balloon dilation is effective in controlling and preventing post-ESD stricture. Moreover, intralesional steroid injections or oral steroids can achieve remission of dysphagia or reduce the need for repeated endoscopic balloon dilation. However, further study is needed to improve the prevention of stricture formation.
Stricture; Esophagus; Stomach; Endoscopic submucosal dissection
One of the most important prognostic factors in esophageal carcinoma is lymph node metastasis, and in particular, the number of affected lymph nodes, which influences long-term outcomes. The esophageal lymphatic system is connected longitudinally and transversally; thus, the pattern of lymph node metastases is very complex. Early esophageal cancer frequently exhibits skipped metastasis, and minimal surgery using sentinel node navigation cannot be performed. In Korea, most esophageal cancer cases are squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), although the incidence of adenocarcinoma has started to increase recently. Most previous reports have failed to differentiate between SCC and adenocarcinoma, despite the fact that the Union for International Cancer Control (7th edition) and American Joint Committee on Cancer staging systems both consider these separately because they differ in cause, biology, lymph node metastasis, and outcome. Endoscopic tumor resection is an effective and safe treatment for lesions with no associated lymph node metastasis. Esophageal mucosal cancer confined to the lamina propria is an absolute indication for endoscopic resection, and a lesion that has invaded the muscularis mucosae can be cured by local resection if invasion to the lymphatic system has not occurred.
Esophageal neoplasms; Lymph node metastasis; Endoscopic resection
Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) is a method of providing enteral nutrition using endoscopy. The PEG techniques differ according to the insertion method, and include the pull type, push type, and introducer type. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical outcomes associated with the pull-type and introducer-type PEG insertion techniques, which included the adverse events, at our tertiary care center in Korea.
We retrospectively reviewed 141 cases that had undergone PEG insertion at our center from January 2009 to June 2012. The indications for PEG insertion and the acute and chronic complications caused by each type of PEG insertion were analyzed.
The indications for PEG insertion in our cohort included neurologic disease (58.7%), malignancy (21.7%), and other indications (19.6%). Successful PEG insertions were performed on 136 cases (96.5%), and there were no PEG-associated deaths. Bleeding was the most frequent acute complication (12.8%), and wound problems were the most frequent chronic complications (8.8%). There were no statistically significant differences between the pull-type and introducer-type PEG insertion techniques in relation to complication rates in our study population.
PEG insertion is considered a safe procedure. The pull-type and introducer-type PEG insertion techniques produce comparable outcomes, and physicians may choose either of these approaches according to the circumstances.
Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy; Pull type; Introducer type; Complication; Indication for PEG
Jejunal polypoid arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and jejunojejunal intussusceptions are both rare. Here, we present the case of a 61-year-old woman who suffered intermittent episodes of abdominal pain over the course of 13 years. A computed tomography scan of her abdomen and pelvis revealed a distal jejunojejunal intussusception. A suspected low density mass was observed at the tip of the intussusception. Treatment comprised laparoscopic small bowel resection with end-to-end jejunostomy. The final diagnosis was a polypoid AVM measuring 5×3.5×3 cm. We suggest that polypoid AVM should be considered as a differential diagnosis in patients presenting with small intestinal neoplasms.
Abdominal pain; Arteriovenous malformations; Jejunum; Intussusception; Polypoid arteriovenous malformation
Predicting response to proton pump inhibitor (PPI) treatment can aid the effective management of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The aim was to investigate the predictors of symptomatic response to pantoprazole in Asian patients with GERD; the first study of its kind in Asian patients.
Asian patients with GERD symptoms (N = 209) received pantoprazole 40 mg daily for 8 weeks in a multinational, prospective, open-label study. Response was assessed using ReQuest™. Baseline and demographic factors were examined using logistic regression to determine if they were related to treatment response.
Response rates were 44.3% (Week 4) and 63.6% (Week 8) in Asian patients versus 60.7% (P < 0.001) and 72.2% (P = 0.010) for the rest of the world. Higher response rates at 8 weeks occurred in patients with erosive reflux disease (ERD; 71.3%) versus those with non-erosive reflux disease (NERD) at baseline (48.5%). The presence of ERD (P = 0.0143) and lower ReQuest™-GI scores at baseline (P = 0.0222) were associated with response. Improvements in quality of life (QoL) and anxiety and depression at 4 and 8 weeks were associated with treatment response (both P < 0.0001). Patient satisfaction correlated with treatment response (P < 0.0001), and improvement in anxiety and depression (P < 0.0001) and QoL (P < 0.0001).
Asian patients with GERD, especially those with NERD, may have lower response rates to PPIs than Western populations. ERD and less severe gastrointestinal symptoms may help to predict symptomatic responses to PPIs in Asian patients.
ClinicalTrial.gov identifier: NCT00312806.
Although gastric cancer is quite common in Korea, the treatment outcome is relatively favorable compared to those in western countries. However, there are currently no Korean multidisciplinary guidelines for gastric cancer. Experts from related societies developed guidelines de novo to meet Korean circumstances and requirements, including 23 recommendation statements for diagnosis (n=9) and treatment (n=14) based on relevant key questions. The quality of the evidence was rated according to the GRADE evidence evaluation framework: the evidence levels were based on a systematic review of the literature, and the recommendation grades were classified as either strong or weak. The applicability of the guidelines was considered to meet patients' view and preferences in the context of Korea. The topics of the guidelines cover diagnostic modalities (endoscopy, endoscopic ultrasound, and radiologic diagnosis), treatment modalities (surgery, therapeutic endoscopy, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy), and pathologic evaluation. An external review of the guidelines was conducted during the finalization phase.
Stomach neoplasms; Multidisciplinary; Guidelines
Although acupuncture is known as a safe procedure that is widely used in many countries, complications including infection, hemorrhage, hematoma, pneumothorax, nerve damage, and cardiac tamponade have been reported. A needle penetrating the stomach after acupuncture, however, is very rare. Here, we report the case of 47-year-old woman who experienced abdominal pain 2 days after receiving acupuncture. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy identified an approximately 2.5-cm long needle in the posterior wall of the antrum. The needle was removed endoscopically using rat tooth forceps with no complications.
Foreign body; Endoscopic removal; Stomach; Acupuncture complication; Needles
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
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