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Dig Liver Dis. 2011 Mar;43 Suppl 4:S319-30. doi: 10.1016/S1590-8658(11)60588-4.

Microscopic esophagitis and Barrett's esophagus: the histology report.

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Department of Anatomic Pathology, University of Genova and S. Martino University Hospital, Genoa, Italy.


Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the most common digestive disease in industrialized countries (Europe and North America) and is associated with microscopic changes in the squamous epithelium. However, biopsy is not presently included in the routine diagnostic flow chart of GERD. In contrast, esophageal biopsy is mandatory when diagnosing Barrett's esophagus. High quality histology reports are necessary to provide information on diagnosis and can also be important for research and epidemiological studies. It has been evident for decades that pathology reports vary between institutions and even within a single institution. Standardization of reporting is the best way to ensure that information necessary for patient management is included in pathology reports. This paper details the histological criteria for diagnosing GERD-associated microscopic esophagitis, other forms of esophagitis with specific features and columnar metaplasia in the lower esophagus (Barrett's esophagus). It provides a detailed description of appropriate sampling criteria, individual lesions and how they contribute to the histology report.

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