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Argon Plasma Coagulation after Piecemeal Polypectomy of Sessile Colorectal Adenomas: Long-Term Follow-Up Study
Submitted: 19 April 2002
Accepted after Revision: 5 September 2002
13 February 2003 (online)
Background and Study Aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate prospectively the long-term outcomes of using argon plasma coagulation (APC) as an adjunct to piecemeal polypectomy of large sessile colorectal adenomas.
Patients and Methods: A total of 77 patients with 82 sessile colorectal adenomas (median size 2.9 cm, range 1.5 - 8.0 cm) underwent snare piecemeal polypectomy. Patients in whom polypectomy was complete received no further treatment (polypectomy group; n = 14). When polypectomy was incomplete, additional treatment with APC was started either immediately or 1 - 3 months after the last polypectomy session (polypectomy + APC group; n = 63). Patients were followed (by endoscopy and biopsy) at regular intervals.
Results: Histologically proven adenoma eradication was achieved in 100 % of patients (14/14) in the polypectomy group and in 90 % of patients (57/63) in the polypectomy + APC group (two patients died of unrelated causes before adenoma was eradicated, two underwent operation because cancer was detected in the polyp treated, and two underwent operation because of endoscopic treatment failure). The adenoma recurrence rate was 14 % in both the polypectomy and polypectomy + APC groups. All recurrences except one occurred during the first year of follow-up and all were successfully re-treated endoscopically. A total of 69 patients in whom long-term follow-up data are available are free from adenoma at a median follow-up of 37 months (range 12 - 80). No major complications of endoscopic treatment occurred. In seven cases (9 %) the polyp was eventually shown to be malignant; in two of these patients the diagnosis of cancer was delayed as a result of unsuccessful endoscopic treatment.
Conclusions: APC used in combination with piecemeal polypectomy of large colorectal adenomas is an effective and safe method of therapy, provided patient selection is careful and follow-up close.
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J. Regula, M.D.
Dept. of Gastroenterology · Institute of Oncology
Roentgena 5 · 02-777 Warsaw · Poland ·
Fax: + 48-22-644-7601
Email: [email protected]