Endoscopic treatment for gastro‐oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is rapidly emerging, but there is a great need for randomised controlled trials to evaluate the efficacy.
Design and setting
A single‐centre, double‐blind, randomised, sham‐controlled trial of endoscopic gastroplication by the Endocinch suturing system.
Patients and interventions
60 patients with GORD were randomly assigned to three endoscopic gastroplications (n = 20), a sham procedure (n = 20) or observation (n = 20). The research nurse and patients in the active and sham groups were blinded to the procedure assignment. After 3 months, open‐label active treatment was offered to all patients.
The primary outcome measures were proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use and GORD symptoms, and secondary measures were quality of life, 24‐h oesophageal acid exposure, oesophageal manometry and adverse events. Follow‐up assessments were performed at 3, 6 and 12 months.
At 3 months, the percentage of patients who had reduced drug use by ⩾50% was greater in the active treatment group (65%) than in the sham (25%) or observation groups (0%) (p<0.02). Symptoms (heartburn and to a lesser extent regurgitation) improved more in the active group than in the sham group. Three Short Form‐20 quality of life subscales (role function, general health and bodily pain perception) improved in the active group versus sham. Oesophageal acid exposure was modestly decreased after active treatment (p<0.02), but not significantly greater than after the sham procedure (p = 0.61). The active treatment effects on PPI use, symptoms and quality of life persisted after 6 and 12 months of open‐label follow‐up (n = 41), but 29% of patients were retreated in this period. No serious adverse events occurred.
Endoscopic gastroplication, using the Endocinch device, reduced acid‐inhibitory drug use, improved GORD symptoms and improved the quality of life at 3 months compared with a sham procedure. The effects persisted up to 12 months. However, the reduction in oesophageal acid exposure was not greater after endoscopic treatment than after a sham procedure.