Magnetic Sphincter Augmentation Superior to Proton Pump Inhibitors for Regurgitation in a 1-Year Randomized Trial

Reginald Bell, John Lipham, Brian E. Louie, Valerie Williams, James Luketich, Michael Hill, William Richards, Christy Dunst, Dan Lister, Lauren McDowell-Jacobs, Patrick Reardon, Karen Woods, Jon Gould, F. Paul Buckley, Shanu Kothari, Leena Khaitan, C. Daniel Smith, Adrian Park, Christopher Smith, Garth JacobsenGhulam Abbas, Philip Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Regurgitative gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) refractive to medical treatment is common and caused by mechanical failure of the anti-reflux barrier. We compared the effects of magnetic sphincter augmentation (MSA) with those of proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) in a randomized trial. Methods: Patients with moderate to severe regurgitation (assessed by the foregut symptom questionnaire) despite once-daily PPI therapy (n = 152) were randomly assigned to groups given twice-daily PPIs (n = 102) or laparoscopic MSA (n = 50) at 20 sites, from July 2015 through February 2017. Patients answered questions from the foregut-specific reflux disease questionnaire and GERD health-related quality of life survey about regurgitation, heartburn, dysphagia, bloating, diarrhea, flatulence, and medication use, at baseline and 6 and 12 months after treatment. Six months after PPI therapy, MSA was offered to patients with persistent moderate to severe regurgitation and excess reflux episodes during impedance or pH testing on medication. Regurgitation, foregut scores, esophageal acid exposure, and adverse events were evaluated at 1 year. Results: Patients in the MSA group and those who crossed over to the MSA group after PPI therapy (n = 75) had similar outcomes. MSA resulted in control of regurgitation in 72/75 patients (96%); regurgitation control was independent of preoperative response to PPIs. Only 8/43 patients receiving PPIs (19%) reported control of regurgitation. Among the 75 patients who received MSA, 61 (81%) had improvements in GERD health-related quality of life improvement scores (greater than 50%) and 68 patients (91%) discontinued daily PPI use. Proportions of patients with dysphagia decreased from 15% to 7% (P <.005), bloating decreased from 55% to 25%, and esophageal acid exposure time decreased from 10.7% to 1.3% (P <.001) from study entry to 1-year after MSA (Combined P <.001). Seventy percent (48/69) of patients had pH normalization at study completion. MSA was not associated with any peri-operative events, device explants, erosions, or migrations. Conclusions: In a prospective study, we found MSA to reduce regurgitation in 95% of patients with moderate to severe regurgitation despite once-daily PPI therapy. MSA is superior to twice-daily PPIs therapy in reducing regurgitation. Relief of regurgitation is sustained over 12 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1736-1743.e2
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number8
Early online dateJan 1 2020
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • CALIBER Study
  • LES
  • Medical Treatment
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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