Prevalence of intestinal metaplasia in the distal esophagus in patients endoscopically suspected for short Barrett's esophagus

Antonio Grassi, D. Giannarelli, F. Iacopini, P. Paoluzi, A. Iannetti, L. Giovannelli, C. Efrati, F. Barberani, M. Giovannone, M. Tosoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The clinical importance of Barrett's esophagus is related to its correlation to adenocarcinoma. The diagnosis is based on histologic demonstration of specialized intestinal metaplasia in the distal esophagus. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of intestinal metaplasia of the distal esophagus in a population submitted to gastroscopy not selected for reflux disease, and with columnar lined distal esophagus between 0.5 and 2 cm. Four biopsies in the distal esophagus were done in 224 patients undergoing routine gastroscopy. Patients were not selected for gastroesophageal reflux. Other clinical parameters were recorded to asses any possible association. In four Centers 224 patients received endoscopy with biopsies demonstrating specialized intestinal metaplasia in 21% of cases. No association was present among the patients with esophagitis or hiatal hernia, as well as with reflux symptoms. A significant association was present in over 70 (females), as well as with the presence of antral intestinal metaplasia demonstrated in 45 patients by gastric biopsies. No other significant associations were present. Biopsy samplings can diagnose the presence of intestinal metaplasia during endoscopy in patients endoscopically suspected for Barrett's esophagus: at present there is not clear evidence to promote this screening to achieve mortality reduction of esophageal adenocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-302
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006


  • Barrett's esophagus
  • Digestive endoscopy
  • Esophagus
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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