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Gastroenterology. 2001 Jun;120(7):1607-19.

Long-term nonsurgical management of Barrett's esophagus with high-grade dysplasia.

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Department of Medicine, Department of Veterans Affairs, Edward Hines, Jr., Hospital, Hines, Illinois 60141, USA.



Surgical resection of the esophagus is frequently recommended for Barrett's high-grade dysplasia (HGD) without cancer.


During a 20-year period, patients were diagnosed and observed through an organized surveillance program at the Hines Veterans Affairs Hospital. The program was supported by Hines VA and organized and managed by 2 endoscopists using preestablished endoscopic criteria.


Barrett's esophagus was diagnosed in 1099 patients, and 36,251 esophageal mucosal specimens were reviewed. Seventy-nine of 1099 patients (7.2%) initially had HGD (34 prevalent) or subsequently developed HGD (45 incident) without evidence of cancer. Of the 75 HGD patients who remained without detectable cancer after the 1 year of intensive searching, 12 developed cancer (16%) during a mean 7.3-year surveillance period: 11 of the 12 who were compliant were considered cured with surgical or ablation therapy. Cancer did not develop in the remaining 63 HGD patients during the surveillance period.


HGD without cancer in Barrett's esophagus follows a relatively benign course in the majority of patients. In the patients who eventually progress to cancer during regular surveillance, surgical resection is curative. Surveillance endoscopies with biopsy is a valid and safe follow-up strategy for Barrett's patients who have HGD without cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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