Background: Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) for gastrointestinal neoplasms can be technically difficult for trainee endoscopists. Presently, there is no consensus for trainees to select the endo-knife type in ESD. Therefore, we conducted a comparison study of treatment outcomes between scissors-type and needle-type knives in ESD performed by trainees in an ex vivo porcine model. Methods: This study was conducted on trainee endoscopists who participated in ESD hands-on seminars held in August 2018 and September 2019. A total of 22 trainees from 13 institutions were divided into two groups according to their endoscopic experience. Under expert supervision, each trainee performed two ESDs in porcine models, namely, scissor-type knife (ESD-S) and needle-type knife (ESD-N). The efficacy and safety, including the procedure time and rates of self-completion, en bloc resection, and complications, were compared between ESD-S and ESD-N. In subgroup analysis, we also investigated the predictors associated with the difficulty of ESD for trainees using multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results: Eight trainees had an experience of over 1000 endoscopies (senior trainee: S-Trainee), whereas the others had an experience of less than 1000 endoscopies (junior trainee: J-Trainee). Among the S-Trainees, no significant differences were observed in any treatment outcome between ESD-S and ESD-N. Among the J-Trainees, the total procedure and mucosal incision times were significantly shorter in ESD-S than in ESD-N [total procedure time: 16.5 min (range 10.0–31.0) vs. 22.3 min (range 10.0–38.0), P = 0.018; circumferential incision time: 10.0 min (range 6–16) vs. 17.0 min (range 5.0–31.5); P = 0.019]. Regarding complications, muscular injury occurred in two patients during ESD-N performed by J-Trainees; however, no muscular injury occurred during ESD-S. In subgroup analysis, ESD-N was an independent predictive factor of difficult ESD (odds ratio 5.28, 95% confidence interval 1.25–22.30; P = 0.024). Conclusions: This study revealed that trainees, particularly those who have experienced less than 1000 endoscopies, should opt for the scissor-type knife to perform ESD.
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