One-step chromoendoscopy and structure enhancement using balsamic vinegar for screening of Barrett's esophagus

Oliver Pech, Maria C. Petrone, Hendrik Manner, Thomas Rabenstein, Andrea May, Jürgen Pohl, Christian Ell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and study aims : Screening for specialized columnar epithelium (SCE) within columnar lined esophagus (CLE) with standard video endoscopes is not reliable enough. Several methods to improve accuracy of predicting presence of SCE like chromoendoscopy with vital stains or structure enhancement with acetic acid have been introduced but data up to now remains controversial. The present prospective study was conducted to evaluate a combination of chromoendoscopy and acetic acid structure enhancement using the naturally brownish coloured balsamic vinegar during routine upper endoscopy. Patients and methods : Between March and July 2006 20 patients with macroscopic suspicion for SCE during routine endoscopy were included prospectively. Saline diluted balsamic vinegar (3%) was administered with a spraying catheter at the distal esophagus. After 1 minute the distal esophagus was evaluated for the presence of SCE according to the mucosal surface pattern (pattern I-II : round pits/circular pattern predicting gastric epithelium ; pattern III-IV : ridged/villous pattern predicting Barrett's epithelium). Only HR-videoendoscopes without magnification were used. After presence or absence of SCE was defined by the endoscopist targeted biopsies of the CLE were performed. Histological results were compared with endoscopic findings. Results : In 9 of 20 patients (13 male, 7 female ; mean age 60.0 ± 12.8 years) biopsy specimen revealed SCE within CLE on histology. Prediction of BM after balsamic vinegar staining was possible in all cases. Surface pattern I-II was found in 9 patients and pattern III-IV in 11 patients. Accuracy, sensitivity and specificity for BV staining predicting SCE were 90%, 100% and 82%, respectively. Conclusion : Chromoendoscopy with balsamic vinegar combines the advantages of chromoendoscopy and structure enhancement by acetic acid for detection of SCE. The reliability in predicting the presence of SCE was high in this prospective feasibility study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-245
Number of pages3
JournalActa Gastro-Enterologica Belgica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • Barrett's esophagus
  • Chromoendoscopy
  • Endoscopy
  • Esophagus
  • Reflux disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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