Augmentation of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is the primary goal of both surgical and endoscopic therapies for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The feasibility, efficacy, safety, and reversibility of a newly developed endotherapy for GERD using intraluminal magnets referred to as a magnet closure device (MCD) were evaluated.
This study involved nine cadaveric and six survival pigs. The MCD consisted of a ring neodymium magnet attached to a 2-0 polypropylene suture and suture anchor. The MCD was deployed onto the esophageal wall at the region of the LES using an endoscopic suturing device. Two to three MCDs were placed on opposing walls to induce closure of the esophageal lumen. LES pressures were measured using high-resolution manometry at the index procedure (baseline and immediately post-MCD placement) and at survival endoscopy. Endoscopic removal of the devices was performed followed by necropsy at week 2.
MCDs were successfully deployed in all cadaveric (n = 22) and survival animals (n = 12). In cadavers, 20/22 (91%) sutures were full-thickness with no adjacent organ injury. In survival animals, mean LES pressure increased from 8.4 mmHg (baseline) to 32.4 mmHg immediately post-procedure (p < 0.01). No clinically significant adverse events occurred. Repeat endoscopy at two weeks showed intact MCDs in 4/6 (67%) animals with significant increase in median LES pressure (n = 4, 24.0 mmHg versus 7.4 mmHg [baseline], p < 0.05). Endoscopic removal of MCDs was successfully achieved.
Endoscopic augmentation of the LES using a new MCD was feasible, safe and reversible with significantly increased LES pressures recorded. Future studies are needed to enhance durability. These preliminary results on a reversible technique are promising and may represent an attractive alternative to endoluminal GERD therapy.