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Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2002 Jun;31(2):441-60.

Barrett's esophagus: clinical characteristics.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, MCP Hahnemann University, 219 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Barrett's metaplasia develops in 6-14% of individuals with gastroesophageal reflux. Barrett's adenocarcinomas are increasing in epidemic proportions for as yet unknown reasons, approximately 0.5-1% of patients with Barrett's will develop adenocarcinoma. Heartburn duration and frequency (but not severity), male gender, and Caucasian race are major risk factors for developing cancer. Obesity and smoking are weak risk factors. Survival is determined by depth of tumor invasion (stage). Once invasion of the muscularis propia occurs, the vast majority of patients will have developed widespread metastasis, even when clinical staging studies are negative. No currently available therapy results in prolonged survival once metastases develop. Thus, the more widespread use of effective surveillance strategies is the only currently available means for reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with Barrett's adenocarcinoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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