71 Further escalation of PPI dose is sometimes needed. In the case of antireflux surgery, reports which appeared in the 1990s reached conflicting conclusions
about the ability of fundoplication to control reflux adequately in BE patients. This led to trialing of some quite radical alternative approaches, such as vagotomy with partial gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y anastomosis.72 Happily, it is now clear that either open73 or laparoscopic fundoplication74 done by experts achieves excellent control of reflux in BE patients. This field is covered by a Cochrane review which this author finds particularly difficult to read.75 This is a confused but crucial area for clinicians. The confusion arises from unsubstantiated claims that antireflux surgery selleck kinase inhibitor can prevent development of adenocarcinoma. Chemopreventive therapy is the most promising of several otherwise
disappointing possibilities. Superficially, prevention of development of BE is an BGB324 attractive option for preventing the development of EA. The reality is that this strategy will probably never succeed, even if the factors that trigger the development of BE are fully understood. This is because if BE is not found at the first endoscopy, it develops only rarely in subsequent years.2,3 Therefore, prevention requires early and accurate identification of the population at risk before the usual time of presentation for a first endoscopy. Any intervention must be very safe and effective. This is such a tall order that it is highly unlikely to occur, except in the unlikely event Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase of a paradigm-changing discovery about pathogenesis on a par with the discovery of H. pylori. Even if a potent preventive strategy were developed, it is unlikely to come anywhere near being cost-effective, given the relatively low overall risk for development of BE. Despite the insight that BE rarely develops in reflux disease patients under observation, some vocal advocates claim that prevention of BE is one of the benefits of antireflux surgery. This claim springs
from the unsubstantiated conviction that long-term treatment of reflux disease with PPI puts patients at risk for development of BE and ultimately cancer! This is either manipulative or a display of inadequate knowledge of the natural history of BE. There are simply no data which suggest that development of BE is a significant risk during PPI therapy, even after more than 20 years of increasingly wide use of PPI and endoscopy. If prevention of BE is the primary reason for undergoing surgery, its use for this reason alone will cause significant net harm, since there is no logical expectation for any benefit with regard to adenocarcinoma risk. Inescapable harm arises from the cost, rare mortality, occasional major post-operative complications and significant morbidity from the symptoms caused by the mechanical effects of this surgery, even in centers of excellence.