Study: Screening With Unsedated Transnasal Endoscopy for Esophageal Disease is Safe

A new study, published in GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the scientific journal of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, reveals unsedated transnasal endoscopy is a safe and feasible method to screen for esophageal disease, according to a news release (pdf).


The study assessed the feasibility, safety, acceptability and yield of unsedated transnasal endoscopy (also called transnasal esophagoscopy (TNE)) in a primary care population. There were 422 participants who completed examination between 2009 and 2010 at two outpatient tertiary-care centers. There were no serious adverse events reported, and just 12 participants reported minor complications.


"Unsedated small-caliber TNE offers the possibility of efficient and accurate endoscopic assessment of the esophagus with less cost and fewer risks compared with sedated upper endoscopy," said study lead author Blair A. Jobe, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Penn., in the release. "The sensitivity of detecting esophageal abnormalities with unsedated small-caliber TNE is comparable to that of conventional upper endoscopy. Studies in North America have been limited by small sample sizes and have been performed in populations selected for esophageal symptoms. These highly selected populations in referral settings have limited our ability to adequately risk stratify esophageal adenocarcinoma to achieve early detection and cure. Our study demonstrates that unsedated transnasal endoscopy is both feasible and safe in a primary care population, achieving short procedure times, a high diagnostic yield, and minimal anxiety. Patients reported good acceptability and minimal discomfort. These results suggest that we can now lower the threshold for endoscopic esophageal screening and with less cost."


The study is the largest reported experience with TNE in the United States, according to the release.


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