Digestive Disease Week
Digestive Disease Week
Perspective from Kenneth DeVault, MD, FACG
June 04, 2018
2 min read

Endostim safe, effective for certain patients with persistent GERD symptoms

Perspective from Kenneth DeVault, MD, FACG
You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

WASHINGTON — Electrical stimulation of the lower esophageal sphincter using the Endostim LES Stimulation System was safe and effective for treating carefully selected patients with persistent GERD symptoms despite proton pump inhibitor therapy, according to interim data from the LESS-GERD registry presented here.

“Electrical stimulation of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) has been shown to be effective in animal and human studies,” Joachim Labenz, MD, of Diakonie Klinikum in Germany, said during his presentation. “It leads to a measurable normalization of acid reflux through improvement of LES function. It is effective in the long-term — 4-year studies have been published. It is safe in trials, with no dysphagia occurring after the implantation, and it is reversible. However, data from routine clinical practice is still missing.”

Therefore, Endostim launched the international, prospective, web-based LESS-GERD registry to evaluate patients undergoing LES electrical stimulation in routine practice for disruptive GERD symptoms despite daily PPI use through 5 years of follow-up. As of February 2018, 268 patients from 20 centers across seven countries in Europe and Latin America were enrolled.

Heartburn and regurgitation symptoms improved significantly at 1, 2 and 3 years (P <.001 at all time points vs. baseline).

Labenz noted that 53% of patients had moderate to severe regurgitation at baseline, which dropped to 23% at 3 months to 6 months and 20% at 12 months. Additionally, median 24-hour esophageal acid exposure improved in a small number of patients with esophageal pH testing data available. Notably, 60% to 70% of patients were able to completely stop PPI use, and sleep quality improved significantly through 24 months. The incidence of dysphagia was also reduced overall at each time point vs. baseline.

Seventeen serious adverse events related to the device occurred in 16 patients for a rate of 6%, five of which resulted in device explantation.

“Electrical stimulation of the lower esophageal sphincter is safe and effective in routine clinical practice,” Labenz concluded. “Results are similar to outcomes from clinical trials as reported so far. We saw improved quality of life, elimination or significant reduction in heartburn and regurgitation, improvement or normalization of esophageal acid exposure in a subset of patients, control of extraesophageal symptoms, and elimination or significant reduction of PPI medication use; two-thirds of the patients could stop PPI treatment. So electrical stimulation is a viable treatment option for well-selected GERD patients with bothersome symptoms on PPI.” – by Adam Leitenberger


Labenz J, et al. Abstract 443. Presented at: Digestive Disease Week; June 2-5, 2018; Washington, D.C.

Disclosures: Labenz reports financial relationships with Endostim, AstraZeneca, Reckitt Benckiser, Pfizer and Torax. Please see the DDW faculty disclosure index for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.