Barrett's esophagus: A review

Academic Article


  • Barrett's esophagus may be defined as a columnar epithelium-lined distal esophagus. As a frequently recognized complication of gastroesophageal reflux, Barrett's esophagus has become a diagnosis of general clinical concern. Factors governing the development of this complication in patients with gastroesophageal reflux are unknown but may be congenitally determined in part. When symptoms are present, they are due to the complications of reflux, such as esophagitis, stricture, ulcer, or bleeding. Barrett's esophagus may be suspected on the basis of results of a barium meal test, endoscopy, or isotope scanning. Iodine staining at endoscopy or manometrically guided biopsy helps to localize the abnormal mucosal segment. The diagnosis is proved by biopsy. The columnar epithelium of Barrett's esophagus has a malignant predisposition, and, once the diagnosis is made, periodic endoscopy, with biopsy and cytologic study, is indicated. The treatment of Barrett's esophagus is directed toward objective cessation of gastroesophageal reflux. In refractory cases, antireflux surgery improves symptoms and complications from reflux, but the columnar epithelium generally persists along with its malignant potential. It is not known whether effective antireflux treatment will lower the incidence of adenocarcinoma. © 1983.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sjogren RW; Johnson LF
  • Start Page

  • 313
  • End Page

  • 321
  • Volume

  • 74
  • Issue

  • 2