Cryotherapy in the management of premalignant and malignant conditions of the esophagus. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Cryotherapy in the management of premalignant and malignant conditions of the esophagus.
World J Gastroenterol. 2018 Nov 21 ;24(43):4862-4869. PMID: 30487696
Endoscopic cryotherapy is a relatively new thermal ablative modality used for the treatment of neoplastic lesions of the esophagus. It relies on cycles of rapid cooling and thawing to induce tissue destruction with a cryogen (liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide) leading to intra and extra-cellular damage. Surgical treatment was once considered the standard therapeutic intervention for neoplastic diseases of the esophagus and is associated with considerable rates of morbidity and mortality. Several trials that evaluated cryotherapy in Barrett's esophagus (BE) associated neoplasia showed reasonable efficacy rates and safety profile. Cryotherapy has also found applications in the treatment of esophageal cancer, both for curative and palliative intent. Cryotherapy has also shown promising results as salvage therapy in cases refractory to radiofrequency ablation treatment. Cryoballoon focal ablation using liquid nitrogen is a novel mode of cryogen delivery which has been used for the treatment of BE with dysplasia and squamous cell carcinoma. Most common side effects of cryotherapy reported in the literature include mild chest discomfort, esophageal strictures and bleeding. In conclusion, cryotherapy is an effective and safe method for the treatment of esophageal neoplastic processes, ranging from early stages of low grade dysplasia to esophageal cancer.