Background and study aims: The frequency of stricture after endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma with a mucosal defect involving more than three-quarters of the circumference is 70%-90%. Stricture decreases quality of life and requires multiple endoscopic balloon dilation (EBD) sessions. We investigated the efficacy and safety of a single session of intralesional steroid injections to prevent post-ESD stricture. Patients and methods: We conducted a prospective study on 30 patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma treated by ESD, who had a more than three-quarter but less than whole circumferential defect. A single session of intralesional steroid injections was undertaken immediately after ESD. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy was performed whenever patients reported dysphagia and 2 months after ESD in patients without dysphagia. Results were compared with a historical control group of 29 patients who underwent ESD without intralesional steroid injection. The primary endpoint was the post-ESD stricture rate. Secondary endpoints were the number of EBD sessions and the complication rate. Results: Compared with the historical control group, the study group had a significantly lower stricture rate (10%, 3/30 patients vs. 66%, 19/29 patients; P<0.0001) and a lower number of EBD sessions (median 0, range 0-2 vs. median 2, range 0-15; P<0.0001). The study group had a complication rate of 7% (2/30 patients), comprising a submucosal tear in one patient and bleeding in another, which were not a direct result of EBD. Conclusions: A single session of intralesional steroid injections showed promising results for the prevention of stricture after ESD for esophageal cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas