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  1. Hemminger, Lois L. MN, RN, NP-C
  2. Wolfsen, Herbert C. MD


There are few data available describing the experience of patients who have undergone photodynamic therapy with porfimer sodium for Barrett's esophagus. We describe the results of a satisfaction survey reported by 16 of 18 patients (11 men, 5 women; median age 75 years; median response at 27 months after treatment) treated with photodynamic therapy for Barrett's esophagus with high-grade dysplasia. Treatments were performed on an outpatient basis although two patients required clinic visits for intravenous fluids.


Subjects reported their most significant post-treatment problem was odynophagia or dysphagia (75%), which was best treated with a hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen elixir (75%). Cutaneous photosensitivity persisted for a median of six weeks; two patients had phototoxic reactions requiring clinic evaluation and treatment. All but two patients reported swallowing problems lasting a median of four weeks, and weight loss (median 6.8 kg). All patients indicated they would again choose photodynamic therapy if they were faced with a similar choice of endoscopic treatment versus surgery for Barrett's esophagus with high-grade dysplasia. These results indicate a generally high level of satisfaction in patients who have been treated with porfimer sodium photodynamic therapy for Barrett's esophagus with high-grade dysplasia.