Comparative effectiveness of esophagectomy versus endoscopic treatment for esophageal high-grade dysplasia

Yinin Hu, Varun Puri, Vanessa M. Shami, George J. Stukenborg, Benjamin D. Kozower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine the comparative effectiveness of esophagectomy versus endoscopic mucosal resection followed by radiofrequency ablation (EMR-RFA) for the treatment of Barrett esophagus with high-grade dysplasia (HGD). Background: HGD of the esophagus may be managed by surgical resection or EMR-RFA. National guidelines suggest that EMR-RFA is effective at eradicating HGD. The comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of EMR-RFA versus esophagectomy for HGD remains unclear. Methods: A decision-analysis model was constructed to represent 3 management strategies for HGD: (1) esophagectomy, (2) EMR-RFA, and (3) endoscopic surveillance. Estimates for model variables were obtained from literature review, and costs were estimated from Medicare fee schedules. Costs and utilities were discounted at an annual rate of 3%. The baseline model was adjusted for alternative age groups and high-risk dysplastic variants. One-way and multivariable probabilistic sensitivity analyses were conducted. Results: For a 65-year-old patient, compared to esophagectomy, EMR-RFA yields equivalent utility (11.5 vs 11.4 discounted quality-adjusted life years) with lower total cost ($52.5K vs $74.3K) over the first 20 years. Dominance of EMR-RFA over esophagectomy persists for all age groups. Patients with diffuse or ulcerated HGD are more effectively treated with esophagectomy. Model outcomes are sensitive to estimated rates of disease progression and postintervention utility parameters. Conclusions: Existing evidence supports EMR-RFA over esophagectomy for the treatment of esophageal HGD. Long-term outcomes and more definitive quality-of-life studies for both interventions are crucial to better inform decision-making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-726
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016


  • Barrett esophagus
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Decision analysis
  • Esophageal high-grade dysplasia
  • Esophagectomy
  • Radiofrequency ablation


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