Strategies to prevent stricture after esophageal endoscopic submucosal dissection
Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) has been widely applied as a less invasive and more effective method for treating early esophageal cancers such as squamous cell carcinoma and dysplasia of Barrett’s esophagus. However, post-ESD esophageal stricture often occurs if patients suffer circumferential mucosal defects of more than three-quarters of the circumference of the esophagus, which makes it difficult for patients to swallow and greatly reduces their quality of life. Moreover, there is currently no standard method to treat post-ESD esophageal stricture, even though it is extraordinarily important to prevent its formation. In recent years, several strategies to prevent esophageal stricture have emerged. These strategies can be classified into pharmacological, mechanical, tissue engineering, and other novel strategies, with each strategy having its own strengths and weaknesses. Although the pharmacological prophylaxis and mechanical strategies are relatively mature, they still have their drawbacks like high time-consumption, the occurrence of re-stricture, and significant side effects. Tissue engineering strategies and other novel strategies have shown promising preliminary results, but more clinical trials are needed. In this review, we discuss these strategies, with a particular focus on tissue engineering strategies and other novel strategies. It is hoped that this discussion will aid in finding more effective and safer strategies to prevent esophageal stricture.