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Revista Colombiana de Gastroenterologia

Print version ISSN 0120-9957


CANADAS, Raúl et al. Experience in the use of argon plasma in gastrointestinal tract lesions in two institutions in Bogotá. Rev Col Gastroenterol [online]. 2010, vol.25, n.1, pp.44-51. ISSN 0120-9957.

In the last decade Argon Plasma Coagulation therapy (APC) has become important in gastrointestinal endoscopy. It is regarded as an effective technique in the treatment of lesions in the gastrointestinal tract. Its effectiveness was initially reported in the palliative treatment of gastrointestinal neoplasm, but its use has subsequently been extended to multiple indications such as treatment of bleeding angiodysplastic lesions, proctitis via radiotherapy and for gastrointestinal hemorrhage control of lesions such as Dieulafoy’s lesion. With the advent of enteroscopy its use has been extended to small intestinal lesions, especially to Angioectasias. This study describes indications and effectiveness of treatment in the experience of two institutions that make endoscopic use of APC. Methods: Between November, 2007 and April, 2009 Argon Plasma therapy was used in a total of 134 sessions for either curative or palliative treatment of 65 patients with digestive tract pathologies. Treatments were performed in two level four attention centers, the San Ignacio University Hospital and the Marly Clinic, both located in Bogotá, Colombia. Results: 65 patients received APC treatment in a total of 134 sessions. Indications for its use were similar to those reported in the literature: actinic proctitis, angiodysplasia, antral vascular ectasia and control of bleeding due to tumoral lesions. It was also used to control bleeding from vascular lesions such as Dieulafoy’s lesion and for hemorrhage control for bleeding peptic ulcers with exposed vessels. The absence of greater higher complications validates reports in the literature that this is a safe and effective technique for management of several digestive tract pathologies. Conclusions: The experience collected in this descriptive study shows that the addition of the APC technique in our environment provides a high range of indications about digestive tract pathologies with good effectiveness and safety margin. Reasonable use of Argon Plasma Coagulation therapy (APC), keeping in mind indications and recommendations for its application, is a simple, useful and effective technique.

Keywords : Argon; gastrointestinal tract; angyodysplasia; vascular ectasia; proctitis; post radiation; bleeding.

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