Recent advances in the treatment of achalasia include the use of high-resolution manometry to predict the outcome of patients and the introduction of peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM). The first multicenter randomized, controlled, 2-year follow-up study conducted by the European Achalasia Trial group indicated that laparoscopic Heller myotomy (LHM) was not superior to pneumatic dilations (PD). Publications on the long-term success of laparoscopic surgery continue to emerge. In addition, laparoscopic single-site surgery is applicable to advanced laparoscopic operations such as LHM and anterior fundoplication. The optimal treatment option is an ongoing matter of debate. In this review, we provide an update of the current progress in the treatment of esophageal achalasia. Unless new conclusive data prove otherwise, LHM is considered the most durable treatment for achalasia at the expense of increased reflux-associated complications. However, PD is the first choice for non-surgical treatment and is more cost-effective. Repeated PD according to an “on-demand” strategy based on symptom recurrence can achieve long-term remission. Decision making should be based on clinical evidence that identifies a subcategory of patients who would benefit from specific treatment options. POEM has shown promise but its long-term efficacy and safety need to be assessed further.
Esophageal achalasia; Endoscopic pneumatic dilations; Botulinum injection; Peroral endoscopic myotomy; Minimally invasive Heller myotomy
There have been some breakthroughs in the diagnosis and treatment of esophageal achalasia in the past few years. First, the introduction of high-resolution manometry with pressure topography plotting as a new diagnostic tool has made it possible to classify achalasia into three subtypes. The most favorable outcome is predicted for patients receiving treatment for type II achalasia (achalasia with compression). Patients with typeI(classic achalasia) and type III achalasia (spastic achalasia) experience a less favorable outcome. Second, the first multicenter randomized controlled trial published by the European Achalasia Trial group reported 2-year follow-up results indicating that laparoscopic Heller myotomy was not superior to endoscopic pneumatic dilation (PD). Although the follow-up period was not long enough to reach a convincing conclusion, it merits the continued use of PD as a generally available technique in gastroenterology. Third, the novel endoscopic technique peroral endoscopic myotomy is a promising option for treating achalasia, but it requires increased experience and cautious evaluation. Despite all this good news, the bottom line is a real breakthrough from the basic studies to identify the actual cause of achalasia that may impede treatment success is still anticipated.
Esophageal achalasia; High resolution manometry; Endoscopic pneumatic dilations; Minimally invasive surgical procedures; Peroral endoscopic myotomy
AIM: To conduct a bacterial culture study for monitoring decontamination of automated endoscope reprocessors (AERs) after high-level disinfection (HLD).
METHODS: From February 2006 to January 2011, authors conducted randomized consecutive sampling each month for 7 AERs. Authors collected a total of 420 swab cultures, including 300 cultures from 5 gastroscope AERs, and 120 cultures from 2 colonoscope AERs. Swab cultures were obtained from the residual water from the AERs after a full reprocessing cycle. Samples were cultured to test for aerobic bacteria, anaerobic bacteria, and mycobacterium tuberculosis.
RESULTS: The positive culture rate of the AERs was 2.0% (6/300) for gastroscope AERs and 0.8% (1/120) for colonoscope AERs. All the positive cultures, including 6 from gastroscope and 1 from colonoscope AERs, showed monofloral colonization. Of the gastroscope AER samples, 50% (3/6) were colonized by aerobic bacterial and 50% (3/6) by fungal contaminations.
CONCLUSION: A full reprocessing cycle of an AER with HLD is adequate for disinfection of the machine. Swab culture is a useful method for monitoring AER decontamination after each reprocessing cycle. Fungal contamination of AERs after reprocessing should also be kept in mind.
Automated endoscope reprocessor; Gastrointestinal scope; High-level disinfection; Swab culture; Monitoring; Decontamination
Ginger has been used to treat a number of diseases including those affecting the digestive tract. This study was aimed to investigate the effects of ginger on gallbladder volume and gastrointestinal sensation in healthy male subjects.
Nineteen healthy male volunteers (age 21.3 ± 3.9 years, body mass index 21.6 ± 1.9 kg/m2) were studied on 2 occasions in a double blind randomized crossover design. After ingesting ginger (1,200 mg) or placebo capsules (starch), abdominal ultrasound was used to measure the gallbladder volume (calculated from gallbladder width, depth and diameter) and ejection fraction following a standard test meal. Gastrointestinal symptoms were also recorded at regular intervals by visual analogue scales.
There were no differences in gallbladder volume or ejection fraction between ginger and placebo. Abdominal symptoms of bloating, fullness, nausea, discomfort and hunger was not different between the 2 occasions.
Ginger (1,200 mg) may not affect gallbladder ejection fraction and possible relevant abdominal symptoms in healthy male human subjects.
Abdomen; Gallbladder; Ginger; Ultrasonography
AIM: To evaluate the effects of ginger on gastric motility and emptying, abdominal symptoms, and hormones that influence motility in dyspepsia.
METHODS: Eleven patients with functional dyspepsia were studied twice in a randomized double-blind manner. After an 8-h fast, the patients ingested three capsules that contained ginger (total 1.2 g) or placebo, followed after 1 h by 500 mL low-nutrient soup. Antral area, fundus area and diameter, and the frequency of antral contractions were measured using ultrasound at frequent intervals, and the gastric half-emptying time was calculated from the change in antral area. Gastrointestinal sensations and appetite were scored using visual analog questionnaires, and blood was taken for measurement of plasma glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), motilin and ghrelin concentrations, at intervals throughout the study.
RESULTS: Gastric emptying was more rapid after ginger than placebo [median (range) half-emptying time 12.3 (8.5-17.0) min after ginger, 16.1 (8.3-22.6) min after placebo, P ≤ 0.05]. There was a trend for more antral contractions (P = 0.06), but fundus dimensions and gastrointestinal symptoms did not differ, nor did serum concentrations of GLP-1, motilin and ghrelin.
CONCLUSION: Ginger stimulated gastric emptying and antral contractions in patients with functional dyspepsia, but had no impact on gastrointestinal symptoms or gut peptides.
Ginger (Zinger offinale); Functional dyspepsia; Gastric emptying; Antral contraction; Abdominal ultrasound; Ghrelin; Glucagon-like peptide-1; Motilin
AIM: To identify the predictors of rebleeding after initial hemostasis with epinephrine injection (EI) in patients with high-risk ulcers.
METHODS: Recent studies have revealed that endoscopic thermocoagulation, or clips alone or combined with EI are superior to EI alone to arrest ulcer bleeding. However, the reality is that EI monotherapy is still common in clinical practice. From October 2006 to April 2008, high-risk ulcer patients in whom hemorrhage was stopped after EI monotherapy were studied using clinical, laboratory and endoscopic variables. The patients were divided into 2 groups: sustained hemostasis and rebleeding.
RESULTS: A total of 175 patients (144, sustained hemostasis; 31, rebleeding) were enrolled. Univariate analysis revealed that older age (≥ 60 years), advanced American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) status (category III, IV and V), shock, severe anemia (hemoglobin < 80 g/L), EI dose ≥ 12 mL and severe bleeding signs (SBS) including hematemesis or hematochezia were the factors which predicted rebleeding. However, only older age, severe anemia, high EI dose and SBS were independent predictors. Among 31 rebleeding patients, 10 (32.2%) underwent surgical hemostasis, 15 (48.4%) suffered from delayed hemostasis causing major complications and 13 (41.9%) died of these complications.
CONCLUSION: Endoscopic EI monotherapy in patients with high-risk ulcers should be avoided. Initial hemostasis with thermocoagulation, clips or additional hemostasis after EI is mandatory for such patients to ensure better hemostatic status and to prevent subsequent rebleeding, surgery, morbidity and mortality.
Epinephrine injection; High-risk ulcers; Initial hemostasis; Predictors; Rebleeding
Pneumatic dilation (PD) is considered to be the first line nonsurgical therapy for achalasia. The principle of the procedure is to weaken the lower esophageal sphincter by tearing its muscle fibers by generating radial force. The endoscope-guided procedure is done without fluoroscopic control. Clinicians usually use a low-compliance balloon such as Rigiflex dilator to perform endoscope-guided PD for the treatment of esophageal achalasia. It has the advantage of determining mucosal injury during the dilation process, so that a repeat endoscopy is not needed to assess the mucosal tearing. Previous studies have shown that endoscope-guided PD is an efficient and safe nonsurgical therapy with results that compare well with other treatment modalities. Although the results may be promising, long-term follow-up is required in the near future.
Esophagoscopy; Dilatation; Esophageal achalasia
Second-line Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) eradication with fluoroquinolone-containing triple therapy is one of the recommended treatment options, but neither 7-day nor 10-day regimens provide >90% success rates. The current retrospective study aimed to clarify the effects of 10-day and 14-day levofloxacin-containing triple therapies for second-line H. pylori eradication in a Taiwanese cohort and to evaluate the potential clinical factors influencing eradication. A total of 200 patients who failed H. pylori eradication using the standard triple therapy were prescribed with either a 10-day (EAL-10) or a 14-day (EAL-14) levofloxacin-containing triple therapy group (levofloxacin 500 mg once daily, amoxicillin 1 g twice daily, and esomeprazole 40 mg twice daily). Follow-up studies to assess treatment response were carried out 8 weeks later. Eradication rates attained by EAL-10 and EAL-14 were 75.6%; 95% CI = 63.9–85.3% and 92.5%; 95% CI = 84.5–98.1%, P = 0.002 in the per protocol analysis and 68%; 95% CI = 56.6–78.5% and 86%; 95% CI = 76.8–93.4%, P = 0.002 in the intention-to-treat analysis. The duration of H. pylori therapy is the independent risk factor of H. pylori eradication (P = 0.003). In conclusion, 14-day levofloxacin-containing triple therapy can provide a >90% H. pylori eradication rate, but 10-day treatment duration may be suboptimal. The longer duration of H. pylori therapy (14 days) is the independent risk factor.
Background and Study Aims. The association between Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) remains controversial. This study explored the role of H. pylori in CSU among different virulent genotypes patients. Patients and Methods. Patients infected by H. pylori were sorted into two groups as group A (with CSU) and group B (without CSU). The tissue materials were taken via endoscopy for polymerase chain reaction study to determine virulence factors. After H. pylori eradication therapy, the eradication rate and response of urticaria were evaluated by using C13-UBT and a three-point scale (complete remission, partial remission, or no improvement). Results. The results were comparable between patients of groups A and B in terms of H. pylori infection rates and eradication rate. Longitudinal follow-up of 23.5 months showed complete remission of urticaria in 63.6% but no improvement in 36.4% of the patients after H. pylori eradication. H. pylori infected patients with different virulence factors such as cytotoxin-associated gene A, vacuolating cytotoxin gene A signal region and middle region have similar remission rates for CSU. Conclusions. Current study suggests that H. pylori may play a role in the development and disease course of CSU but may be irrelevant to different virulent genotypes.
Esophageal stricture (ES) and gastric outlet obstruction (GOO) can occurred in patients injured by the ingestion of corrosive agents. These complications may occur concurrently but has not been reported in the literature. The aims of this study are to assess the effects and complications of endoscopic-guided balloon dilations (EBD) in patients with corrosive-induced upper gastrointestinal strictures, either ES or GOO alone and simultaneous occurrences of both (ES + GOO).
From July 2002 to December 2009, 36 patients with corrosive-induced upper gastrointestinal strictures in a tertiary hospital were recruited into this study. The patients were divided into three groups, ES group (n = 18), GOO (n = 7), and ES + GOO group (n = 11). All strictures were dilated under direct visualization by using through-the-scope balloon catheters to the end point of 15 mm. The end-point of treatment was successful ingestion of a solid or semisolid diet without additional dilation for more than 12 months.
These 36 patients included 15 males and 21 females with average age of 47 years ranging from 25 to 79 years. The success rates for ES group is significantly better than GOO and ES + GOO group (83.3% vs. 57.1% vs. 36.4% p = 0.035). Less complications were observed in ES group than in GOO and ES + GOO group (16.7% vs. 42.9% vs. 36.4%, p = 0.041). GOO group needed more sessions of dilations in order to achieve success dilations than ES and GOO groups (13.7 ± 4.9 vs. 6.1 ± 4.7 vs. 5.5 ± 2.1, p = 0.011).
Corrosive injuries complicated with ES can be effectively and safely treated by EBD. However, the success rates declined significantly in patients with GOO with or without ES and amore complications occurred.
Esophageal stricture; Gastric outlet obstruction; Corrosives; Balloon dilation
Antibiotic prophylaxis with norfloxacin, intravenous ciprofloxacin, or ceftriaxone has been recommended for cirrhotic patients with gastrointestinal hemorrhage but little is known about intravenous cefazolin. This study aimed to compare the outcome of intravenous cefazolin and ceftriaxone as prophylactic antibiotics among cirrhotic patients at different clinical stages, and to identify the associated risk factors. The medical records of 713 patients with acute variceal bleeding who had received endoscopic procedures from were reviewed. Three hundred and eleven patients were entered for age-matched adjustment after strict exclusion criteria. After the adjustment, a total of 102 patients were enrolled and sorted into 2 groups according to the severity of cirrhosis: group A (Child’s A patients, n = 51) and group B (Child’s B and C patients, n = 51). The outcomes were prevention of infection, time of rebleeding, and death. Our subgroup analysis results failed to show a significant difference in infection prevention between patients who received prophylactic cefazolin and those who received ceftriaxone among Child’s A patients (93.1% vs. 90.9%, p = 0.641); however, a trend of significance in favor of ceftriaxone prophylaxis (77.8% vs. 87.5%, p = 0.072) was seen among Child’s B and C patients. More rebleeding cases were observed in patients who received cefazolin than in those who received ceftriaxone among Child’s B and C patients (66.7% vs. 25.0%, p = 0.011) but not in Child’s A patients (32% vs. 40.9%, p = 0.376). The risk factors associated with rebleeding were history of bleeding and use of prophylactic cefazolin among Child’s B and C patients. In conclusion, this study suggests that prophylactic intravenous cefazolin may not be inferior to ceftriaxone in preventing infections and reducing rebleeding among Child’s A cirrhotic patients after endoscopic interventions for acute variceal bleeding. Prophylactic intravenous ceftriaxone yields better outcome among Child’s B and C patients.
The instrument channels of gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopes may be heavily contaminated with bacteria even after high-level disinfection (HLD). The British Society of Gastroenterology guidelines emphasize the benefits of manually brushing endoscope channels and using automated endoscope reprocessors (AERs) for disinfecting endoscopes. In this study, we aimed to assess the effectiveness of decontamination using reprocessors after HLD by comparing the cultured samples obtained from biopsy channels (BCs) of GI endoscopes and the internal surfaces of AERs.
We conducted a 5-year prospective study. Every month random consecutive sampling was carried out after a complete reprocessing cycle; 420 rinse and swabs samples were collected from BCs and internal surface of AERs, respectively. Of the 420 rinse samples collected from the BC of the GI endoscopes, 300 were obtained from the BCs of gastroscopes and 120 from BCs of colonoscopes. Samples were collected by flushing the BCs with sterile distilled water, and swabbing the residual water from the AERs after reprocessing. These samples were cultured to detect the presence of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and mycobacteria.
The number of culture-positive samples obtained from BCs (13.6%, 57/420) was significantly higher than that obtained from AERs (1.7%, 7/420). In addition, the number of culture-positive samples obtained from the BCs of gastroscopes (10.7%, 32/300) and colonoscopes (20.8%, 25/120) were significantly higher than that obtained from AER reprocess to gastroscopes (2.0%, 6/300) and AER reprocess to colonoscopes (0.8%, 1/120).
Culturing rinse samples obtained from BCs provides a better indication of the effectiveness of the decontamination of GI endoscopes after HLD than culturing the swab samples obtained from the inner surfaces of AERs as the swab samples only indicate whether the AERs are free from microbial contamination or not.
Surveillance culture monitoring; Gastrointestinal scope; Automated endoscope reprocessor; High-level disinfection reprocessing
Vascular ectasias, including gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE) and angiodysplasia, are increasingly recognized as important sources of gastrointestinal bleeding. This study investigated and compared the efficacies and outcomes of treatment of upper gastrointestinal (UGI) angiodysplasia and GAVE hemorrhage by endoscopic argon plasma coagulation (APC).
From January 2006 to December 2009, 46 patients diagnosed with upper GI bleeding caused by angiodysplasia or GAVE at a tertiary hospital were recruited into this study. They included 26 males and 20 females with an average age of 65.6 years (range, 45–90 years). All patients underwent APC for hemostasis during an endoscopic procedure. Parameters such as underlying co-morbidities, number of endoscopic treatment sessions, recurrent bleeding, and clinical outcomes during follow-up were analyzed.
The 46 patients with UGI vascular ectasia hemorrhage included 27 patients with angiodysplasia and 19 with GAVE. The patients with angiodysplasia were older than those with GAVE (71.6 ± 10.2 years versus 61.8 ± 11.9 years, P = 0.005). More GAVE patients than angiodysplasia patients had co-existing liver cirrhosis (63.2% versus 25.9%, P = 0.012). The patients with GAVE had a higher rate of recurrent bleeding (78.9% versus 7.4%, P < 0.001) and required more treatment sessions to achieve complete hemostasis (2.4 ± 1.4 versus 1.1 ± 0.1, P < 0.001) than those with angiodysplasia. Univariate analysis demonstrated that age greater than 60 years (odds ratio (OR) = 8.929, P = 0.003), GAVE (OR = 0.021, P < 0.001), and previous radiation therapy (OR = 11.667, P = 0.032) were associated with higher rates of recurrent bleeding. Further multivariate analysis revealed that GAVE was the only independent risk factor for recurrent bleeding after APC treatment (OR = 0.027, P < 0.001).
Endoscopic hemostasis with APC is a safe treatment modality for both angiodysplasia and vascular ectasia bleeding. The efficacy of APC treatment is greater for angiodysplasia than for vascular ectasia bleeding. GAVE patients have a higher recurrent bleeding rate and may require multiple treatment sessions for sustained hemostasis.
Endoscopic argon plasma coagulation; Angiodysplasia; Gastric antral vascular ectasia
Many studies have shown that high-dose proton-pumps inhibitors (PPI) do not further reduce the rate of rebleeding compared to non-high-dose PPIs but we do not know whether intravenous non-high-dose PPIs reduce rebleeding rates among patients at low risk (Rockall score < 6) or among those at high risk, both compared to high-dose PPIs. This retrospective case-controlled study aimed to identify the subgroups of these patients that might benefit from treatment with non-high-dose PPIs.
Subjects who received high dose and non-high-dose pantoprazole for confirmed acute PU bleeding at a tertiary referral hospital were enrolled (n = 413). They were divided into sustained hemostasis (n = 324) and rebleeding groups (n = 89). The greedy method was applied to allow treatment-control random matching (1:1). Patients were randomly selected from the non-high-dose and high-dose PPI groups who had a high risk peptic ulcer bleeding (n = 104 in each group), and these were then subdivided to two subgroups (Rockall score ≥ 6 vs. < 6, n = 77 vs. 27).
An initial low hemoglobin level, serum creatinine level, and Rockall score were independent factors associated with rebleeding. After case-control matching, the significant variables between the non-high-dose and high-dose PPI groups for a Rockall score ≥ 6 were the rebleeding rate, and the amount of blood transfused. Case-controlled matching for the subgroup with a Rockall score < 6 showed that the rebleeding rate was similar for both groups (11.1% in each group).
Intravenous non-high-dose pantoprazole is equally effective as high-dose pantoprazole when treating low risk patients with a Rockall sore were < 6 who have bleeding ulcers and high-risk stigmata after endoscopic hemostasis.
Intravenous proton-pump inhibitors; Peptic ulcer bleeding; Endoscopic hemostasis; Rebleeding; Rockall scores