Eckardt AJ, Pinnow G, Pohl H, Wiedenmann B, Rosch T
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Oct; 21(10):1110-8.


Most first-generation endoscopic antireflux procedures (EARPs) have been withdrawn because of variable success rates, economic considerations, and/or complications. As a result, subsequent methods may meet ‘skepticism’ by physicians and patients.


To identify potential barriers to patient recruitment for a new EARP METHODS: We prospectively analyzed our recruitment for a phase 2 study of a transoral incisionless fundoplication procedure. We contacted 50 private practices and 23 hospitals for potential referrals, and placed three newspaper advertisements. All patient replies were followed up by a phone call. Patients were then invited for a personal interview, and eligible patients underwent further preprocedure testing. In addition, poststudy questionnaires regarding their opinions about EARPs were sent to referring physicians.


Of 134 interviewed patients, only 10% (n=13) were successfully recruited. Candidates mostly responded to newspaper advertisements (87%) or were referred from our own institution (7%). Primary exclusion criteria included failure of proton pump inhibitor response (34%), lack of proton pump inhibitor use (20%), atypical symptoms (18%), or a large hiatal hernia (17%). Seventy percent of the responding physicians did not believe that new EARPs would be superior to previous methods.


The EARP market seems to be much smaller than anticipated, partially because of skepticism of referring physicians, and partially because of strict selection criteria.

Link to abstract on PubMed: Eckardt AJ, et al; Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Oct; 21(10): 1110-8.

TIF procedure, Eckardt