Background and Aims Endoscopic radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a rapidly evolving therapeutic modality for early esophageal squamous cell neoplasias (ESCNs). However, the feasibility of RFA for ESCNs in the setting of esophageal varices has not been reported. Methods We retrospectively enrolled 8 consecutive patients with cirrhosis (Child-Pugh score ≤6) with early flat-type ESCNs (high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia/intramucosal cancer, and Lugol unstained lesion [USL] length ≥3 cm extending ≥1/2 the circumference) on or adjacent to esophageal varices, for which circumferential RFA was applied as the initial treatment. The primary endpoint was a complete response at 12 months, and the secondary endpoints were adverse events and procedure-related mortality. Results The mean USL length was 5.3 cm (range, 3–10 cm), and the average length of the treatment area was 7.5 cm (range, 5–12 cm), with an average procedure time of 31.9 min (range, 25–40 min). After circumferential RFA, 3 adverse events were recorded, including 2 intramucosal hematomas and 1 mucosal laceration, all of which spontaneously resolved without further management. No massive bleeding, perforation, stricture, or hepatic failure occurred after the procedure. Six of the 8 patients achieved a complete response after single circumferential RFA, but 2 had residual squamous neoplasias. After additional focal-type RFA treatment, all achieved a complete response at 12 months. No neoplastic progression or recurrence occurred during a median follow-up period of 21.6 months (range, 13–42 months). Conclusions RFA was associated with good treatment results, no neoplastic progression, and an acceptable adverse event profile for the treatment of early ESCNs in patients with well-compensated cirrhosis and esophageal varices.
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