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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1993 May;16(4):345-64.

Barrett's esophagus: new definitions and approaches in children.

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Department of Pediatrics, B.C. Children's Hospital/University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.


BE is a disorder that occurs in children likely as a consequence of prolonged GE reflux of gastroduodenal contents. It usually presents with complications of GE reflux, but it also may be relatively silent in childhood and then present with adenocarcinoma in childhood or present in adulthood. Although seldom recognized in children until relatively recently, it is being diagnosed with greater frequency but not always accurately. The diagnosis of BE can be made with certainty only if landmarks are carefully documented, and a detailed histologic map is made from multiple, large biopsies taken under direct vision at endoscopy; the diagnosis should be reserved for those patients where Barrett's specialized epithelium i.e., goblet cell metaplasia, is present. BE is a diagnosis that should be made with thorough documentation because of the implications for regression, cancer, and the need for follow-up and endoscopic biopsy surveillance. For treatment of complications and because there may be a chance for regression of a young (i.e., childhood) lesion, antireflux surgery or indefinite aggressive acid suppressing medical therapy is required. Because bile reflux may have a pathogenic role in BE, and because of the proven benefits of surgery in producing partial regression and prevention of dysphagia and cancer in some patients, the author's preference at present is for surgery. For children who are poor candidates for surgery, long-term omeprazole should be used (159). Adenocarcinoma does occur in childhood as a complication of BE. Because it can be recognized early, regular surveillance of children with bona fide BE is advisable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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