Cryoballoon and cryospray ablation were equivalent for eradicating dysplastic Barrett’s esophagus, according to the findings of a single-center retrospective study of 71 ablation-naive patients.
At 18 months, rates of complete eradication of dysplasia were 95.6% in patients who received cryoballoon therapy and 96% in recipients of cryospray, reported Mohammed Alshelleh, MD, of Northwell Health System, a tertiary care system in New Hyde Park, N.Y. Rates of complete eradication of intestinal metaplasia were 84.75% and 80%, respectively. However, selection bias was likely, and a post hoc power calculation suggested that the cryospray group was underpowered by four patients. “Prospective studies are needed to confirm [these] data,” Dr. Alshelleh and associates wrote in.
Cryotherapy is common for treating dysplastic Barrett’s esophagus when patients do not achieve remission with radiofrequency ablation. For treatment-naive individuals, prospective studies suggest that cryotherapy may be less painful and as effective as radiofrequency ablation, but no studies have directly compared the two commercially available systems: a cryogenic balloon catheter (C2 Cryoballoon, Pentax Medical, Montvale, N.J.) that delivers cryogenic nitrous oxide (–85° C) into an inflated balloon in direct contact with the esophageal mucosa, and a spray cryotherapy system (truFreeze, Steris Endoscopy, Mentor, Ohio), which flash-freezes the mucosa to –196° C by delivering liquid nitrogen through a low-pressure catheter that is not directly in contact with the esophagus.
For the study, the investigators retrospectively compared rates of complete eradication of dysplasia, and complete eradication of intestinal metaplasia, among ablation-naive patients at their institution who had received one of these two cryogenic modalities between 2015 and 2019. All patients were treated at least twice, at 3-month intervals, and were followed for least 12 months, or until complete eradication of intestinal metaplasia was confirmed by at least one endoscopic biopsy. In all, 46 patients received cryoballoon therapy and 25 received cryospray. Outcomes between the two modalities showed no significant differences in subgroups stratified by baseline histology, nor were there significant differences in rates of postprocedural stricture (8.7% in the cryoballoon group vs. 12% in the cryospray group). However, the investigators acknowledged that the study was underpowered. Overall, clinicians tended to prefer cryoballoon because it uses prefilled nitrous oxide cartridges, making it unnecessary to fill up a large nitrogen tank or use a “cumbersome decompression tube,” the investigators wrote. “However, in patients with a very large hiatal hernia or if there was a need to treat in a retroflexed position, spray cryotherapy was used given its ease of use over cryoballoon in these scenarios. Finally, cryospray is more amenable to treat larger surface areas of Barrett’s versus the focal cryoballoon that treats focal areas, and thus was the cryotherapy choice for a long segment of Barrett’s.”
The investigators reported receiving no grant support. One investigator disclosed ties to Olympus America, Pentax Medical Research, and Ninepoint Medical.
SOURCE: Alshelleh M et al. Tech Innov Gastrointest Endosc. 2020 Jul 26. doi: 10.1016/j.tige.2020.07.004.