Strong evidence support the use of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in the management of dysplastic/neoplastic Barrett’s esophagus (BE). Recently, the efficacy of the cryoballoon ablation (CBA) system was demonstrated in multicenter cohort studies. We aimed to assess the comparative effectiveness and safety of these 2 ablation modalities for endoscopic eradication therapy (EET) in a cohort study.
Data were abstracted on patients with dysplastic BE or intramucosal carcinoma (IMC) undergoing EET using RFA or CBA as the primary ablation modality at 2 referral centers. The primary outcome was the rate of complete remission intestinal metaplasia (CRIM). Secondary outcomes were rates of complete remission of dysplasia (CRD) and adverse events. Cox proportional hazards models and propensity scored matched analyses were conducted to compare outcomes.
Three hundred eleven patients (CBA:85 patients, RFA: 226 patients) with median (IQR) follow-up of 1.5 (0.8, 2.5) years in the RFA and 2.0 (1.3, 2.5) years in the CBA group were studied. On multivariable analyses, the chances of reaching CRD and CRIM were not influenced by ablation modality. Propensity score matched analysis revealed comparable chance of achieving CRIM (CBA vs RFA HR (95% CI): 1.24 (0.79-1.96), p=0.35) and CRD (CBA vs RFA HR (95% CI): 1.19 (0.82-1.73), p=0.36). The CBA group had a higher stricture rate compared with the RFA group (10.4% vs 4.4%; p=0.04).
Histologic outcomes of EET using CBA and RFA for dysplastic BE, appear to be comparable. A randomized trial is needed to definitively compare outcomes between these 2 modalities.

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