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World J Gastrointest Endosc. Apr 16, 2014; 6(4): 112-120
Published online Apr 16, 2014. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v6.i4.112
ESD training: A challenging path to excellence
Alberto Herreros de Tejada
Alberto Herreros de Tejada, Department of Gastroenterology, IDIPHIM, Puerta de Hierro University Hospital, 28222 Madrid, Spain
Author contributions: Herreros de Tejada A solely contributed to this paper.
Correspondence to: Alberto Herreros de Tejada, MD, PhD, Department of Gastroenterology, IDIPHIM, Puerta de Hierro University Hospital, Joaquin Rodrigo, 2. Majadahonda, 28222 Madrid, Spain.
Telephone: +34-911-917909 Fax: +34-911-916729
Received: November 26, 2013
Revised: February 11, 2014
Accepted: March 3, 2014
Published online: April 16, 2014

Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) has important advantages over endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) for early gastrointestinal neoplasia treatment, but its difficult learning curve and associated risks have constrained its wider expansion. ESD training includes a comprehensive study of ESD basics, attending live cases and performing initial interventions in animal models, ideally under expert supervision. Mentoring methods in Japan and other Asian countries are reviewed, with a special concern in the conditions recommended for trainees to engage in an ESD program and achieve competence. Animal training is usually based on the well-known porcine model. Ex vivo models for esophageal, gastric and rectal ESD are cheap and easy to set up, whereas in vivo training requires special settings and veterinarian support. Nevertheless, it is advisable to gain experience in the live pig, with conditions that are similar to humans, before moving on to real patients. Particular attention is focused on colorectal ESD (CR-ESD), one of the most difficult locations for this technique. Since most of the potential lesions for ESD in Western countries are located in the colon or rectum, excellence in training is of paramount importance for successful outcomes in CR-ESD in the West.

Keywords: Endoscopic submucosal dissection, Training, Early neoplasia, Animal model, Colorectal

Core tip: This mini review focuses on endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) training. ESD is a relatively novel advanced technique used for en bloc resection of gastrointestinal early neoplasia. ESD training has become a challenge for Western endoscopists due to several factors: low detection rate of early gastric cancer, the perfect scenario for starters; lack of experts in the technique for adequate tutoring; and finally, most of the target lesions in Western countries are colorectal neoplasias, representing the highest peak of difficulty in ESD. We will review some of the most important steps that could shape a training program in ESD, including animal training. Particular attention is focused on colorectal ESD.