Radiofrequency ablation for low-grade dysplasia in Barrett's esophagus: long-term outcome of a randomized trial

Roos E Pouw, Esther Klaver, K Nadine Phoa, Frederike G van Vilsteren, Bas L Weusten, Raf Bisschops, Erik J Schoon, Oliver Pech, Hendrik Manner, Krish Ragunath, Jacobo Ortiz Fernández-Sordo, Grant Fullarton, Massimiliano Di Pietro, Wladyslaw Januszewicz, Dermot O'Toole, Jacques J Bergman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: A prior randomized study (Surveillance versus Radiofrequency Ablation study [SURF study]) demonstrated that radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of Barrett's esophagus (BE) with confirmed low-grade dysplasia (LGD) significantly reduces the risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Our aim was to report the long-term outcomes of this study.

METHODS: The SURF study randomized BE patients with confirmed LGD to RFA or surveillance. For this retrospective cohort study, all endoscopic and histologic data acquired at the end of the SURF study in May 2013 until December 2017 were collected. The primary outcome was rate of progression to high-grade dysplasia (HGD)/cancer. All 136 patients randomized to RFA (n = 68) or surveillance (n = 68) in the SURF study were included. After closure of the SURF study, 15 surveillance patients underwent RFA based on patient preference and study outcomes.

RESULTS: With 40 additional months (interquartile range, 12-51), the total median follow-up from randomization to last endoscopy was 73 months (interquartile range, 46-85). HGD/cancer was diagnosed in 1 patient in the RFA group (1.5%) and in 23 in the surveillance group (33.8%) (P = .000), resulting in an absolute risk reduction of 32.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 22.4%-44.2%) with a number needed to treat of 3.1 (95% CI, 2.3-4.5). Seventy-five of 83 patients (90%; 95% CI, 82.1%-95.0%) treated with RFA for BE reached complete clearance of BE and dysplasia. BE recurred in 7 of 75 patients (9%; 95% CI, 4.6%-18.0%), mostly minute islands or tongues, and LGD in 3 of 75 (4%; 95% CI, 1.4%-11.1%).

CONCLUSIONS: RFA of BE with confirmed LGD significantly reduces the risk of malignant progression, with sustained clearance of BE in 91% and LGD in 96% of patients, after a median follow-up of 73 months. (Clinical trial registration number: NTR1198.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-574
Number of pages6
JournalGastrointestinal Endoscopy
Issue number3
Early online date23 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020

Cite this