Treats the underlying cause of GERD not just the symptoms

BACKGROUND: Diagnosis and treatment for respiratory symptoms (RSs) of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is more difficult than that for common esophageal symptoms. The goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of radiofrequency (RF) treatment on RSs of GERD in a preliminary 12-month follow-up observation.

METHODS: From April 2006 to October 2008, 505 GERD patients with mainly respiratory presentations such as wheezing, chronic cough or hoarseness, were treated by endoscopic RF. A questionnaire was completed before and after treatment, using a six-point scale ranging from 0 to 5 to assess symptom severity and frequency. The symptom score was the sum of frequency and severity.

RESULTS: Symptom scores were significantly improved at the end of the follow-up period. The mean heartburn score decreased from 5.31 to 1.79. The mean regurgitation score decreased from 5.02 to 1.64; mean cough score decreased from 6.77 to 2.85; mean wheezing score decreased from 7.83 to 3.07; and mean hoarseness score decreased from 5.13 to 1.81 (P <0.01). No major complications or deaths occurred. Minor complications included temporary post-procedural retrosternal unease or pain (n=106; 21.0%), mild fever (n=86; 17.0%), transient nausea/vomiting (n=97; 19.2%), and transient dysphagia (n=42; 9.3%). Thirty-five (6.9%) patients had recurrence of symptoms. Endoscopic RF treatment was repeated in six patients, and laparoscopic fundoplication was performed in seven.

CONCLUSION Endoscopic RF is an effective and safe means to treat RSs in patients with GERD.

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