Immunohistochemical detection of p53 protein could improve the management of some patients with Barrett esophagus and mild histologic alterations

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1999 Dec;123(12):1260-3. doi: 10.5858/1999-123-1260-IDOPPC.


Objective: To determine the usefulness of p53 immunostaining in identifying the subgroup of patients with Barrett esophagus who may be at increased risk of developing adenocarcinoma of the esophagus.

Materials and methods: Tissue samples of 41 patients with Barrett esophagus and available sequential histologic data were processed for p53 immunostaining. Results from each patient were compared over time, and the results of a subset of patients were compared with each other.

Results: We observed a significant correlation between the percentage of samples with p53 expression and the severity of dysplasia. Moreover, in a subset of patients with mild dysplasia (cases classified as showing indefinite dysplasia), we observed a statistically significant difference in the percentage of p53-positive samples between the group that progressed to more severe dysplasia and the group that did not progress.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that this procedure, which is technically simple, economical, and quick, could play a role in the evaluation and follow-up of patients with Barrett esophagus.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Barrett Esophagus / metabolism*
  • Barrett Esophagus / pathology
  • Barrett Esophagus / therapy*
  • Disease Progression
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Esophagus / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism*


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53