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J Gastrointest Surg. 2002 Jul-Aug;6(4):645-52.

Effect of duodenal diversion on low-grade dysplasia in patients with Barrett's esophagus: analysis of 37 patients.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Hospital J.J. Aguirre, University of Chile, Santos Dumont 999, Santiago, Chile.


It is well known that in patients with Barrett's esophagus (BE), even after antireflux surgery, intestinal metaplasia can progress to dysplasia or even adenocarcinoma. However, the opposite-that is regression of dysplastic changes to intestinal metaplasia after antireflux surgery-has been documented in only a few reports. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of a duodenal diversion operation on low-grade dysplasia in patients with BE. Thirty-seven patients with either short-segment (n = 12) or long-segment (n = 25) BE underwent antireflux surgery plus either a duodenal switch procedure (13 patients) or a partial distal gastrectomy with Roux-en-Y gastrojejunal anastomosis (24 patients). All of them were subjected to complete clinical, endoscopic, histologic, manometric, and 24-hour pH testing, and 24-hour monitoring of the bile exposure in distal esophagus. There were no deaths in this series, and morbidity occurred in only one patient (2.7%). Manometric assessment after surgery showed a significant increase in sphincter pressure, abdominal length, and total length (P < 0.001). Acid reflux showed a significant decrease after surgery, and duodenal reflux was completely abolished in all except one patient. Follow-up in all patients was longer than 24 months (mean 60 months). Three to four endoscopic procedures were performed after surgery in each patient, and several biopsy specimens were taken distal to the squamo-columnar junction during each endoscopic procedure. Eleven patients (91%) with short-segment BE demonstrated histologic regression to either cardiac mucosa or nondysplastic intestinal metaplasia. Among the 25 patients with long-segment BE, there was a 62.5% rate of histologic regression to nondysplastic epithelium when the length of BE measured between 31 and 99 mm and 33% histologic regression when the length of BE was 101 mm or more. There were no cases of progression to high-grade dysplasia or adenocarcinoma. The endoscopic length of the columnar-lined esophagus did not change late after surgery. In 65% of patients with BE, antireflux surgery, gastric acid reduction, and duodenal diversion produced histologic regression of low-grade dysplasia to nondysplastic mucosa. This effect was even more pronounced when the length of BE was shorter. It seems to be permanent, and no progression to high-grade dysplasia or adenocarcinoma has occurred.

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