Sixty-four percent of patients with gastroesophageal acid reflux had a normalization of esophageal acid exposure or a 50% or greater reduction in acid exposure at 1 year after implantation of a magnetic device that augments the esophageal sphincter. It is estimated that about 1 in 3 people in the United States has gastric reflux disease. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are effective but for many provide incomplete control of reflux.
In the analysis, more than 90% of patients who were given the device had a reduction of 50% or more in the use of PPIs used to control their disease, and 92% of patients had a more than 50% improvement in quality of life.
The beaded bracelet-like device, implanted using standard laparoscoic techniques, augments resistance of the esophageal sphincter to abnormal opening associated with reflux. The device may offer an alternative to surgical fundoplication for patients who have incomplete symptom relief with PPIs.
The study, published February 21 in The New England Journal of Medicine, examined outcomes with the device in a group of 100 patients. No control arm was used in the study.
An abstract of the study is available here.