Barrett's esophagus is a change in the lining at the end of the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube from the throat to the stomach. Heartburn for more than five years in males is a risk factor. Having Barrett's esophagus increases the risk of esophageal cancer. Biopsies are obtained from a suspected area during upper endoscopy. The pathologist will classify the tissue as nondysplastic, low-grade dysplasia, or high-grade dysplasia. The risk of cancer progression per year is 0.2 to 0.5 % for nondysplastic, 0.7% for low-grade dysplasia, and 7% for high-grade dysplasia. Patients with nondysplastic Barrett's esophagus would need a repeat upper endoscopy with biopsies in 3 to 5 years. Source and further reading: ACG Clinical Guideline: Diagnosis and Management of Barrett’s Esophagus. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Click on Schedule at the top of the page to schedule an appointment.
-Dr. Joseph K. Sunny, Jr. MD. Gastroenterologist in Miami, Florida.