Reviewers: Li Liu, MD
Source: American Journal of Gastroenterology, Volume 95:1669-1676, (July) 2000
Barrett's esophagus is a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease in which metaplastic epithelium replaces the normal squamous lining. The significance of Barrett's lies in its potential to develop into adenocarcinoma. Virtually all cases of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus occur in the setting of Barrett's esophagus. In this study, the researchers attempted to identify patient subsets at low and high risk for progression to cancer.
A total of 322 patients with Barrett's esophagus were evaluated using endoscopic biopsy.
In this study, aneuploidy, increased 4N fractions, or high-grade dysplasia identified by endoscopic biopsy were associated with high risk of progression to cancer in patients with Barrett's esophagus. A better estimate of the incidence of adenocarcinoma in Barrett's esophagus is important, primarily to define appropriate clinical surveillance guidelines.