Clinical and histologic follow-up after antireflux surgery for Barrett's esophagus

J Gastrointest Surg. Jul-Aug 2002;6(4):532-8; discussion 539. doi: 10.1016/s1091-255x(02)00033-1.

Abstract

There are few prospective studies that document the histologic follow-up after antireflux surgery in patients with Barrett's esophagus, as defined by the recently standardized criteria. We report the clinical, endoscopic, and histologic results of patients with Barrett's esophagus followed postoperatively for at least 2 years. Diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus required preoperative endoscopic evidence of columnar-lined epithelium in the esophagus and a biopsy demonstrating specialized intestinal metaplasia, which stains positively with Alcian blue stain. Between April 1993 and November 1998, a total of 104 patients meeting these criteria underwent fundoplication (laparoscopic [n = 84] or open [n = 6] nissen, laparoscopic Toupet [n = 11], laparoscopic Collis-Nissen [n = 1], Collins-Toupet [n = 1] or open Dor [n = 1]). Short-segment Barrett's esophagus (length of intestinal metaplasia <3 cm) was found preoperatively in 34% and low-grade dysplasia in 4% of patients. All patients were contacted yearly by mail, phone, or clinic visit. At a mean follow-up of 4.6 years (range 2 to 7.5 years), 81% of patients had stopped taking antisecretory medications and 97% were satisfied with the results of their operations. Eight patients have undergone reoperation for recurrence of symptoms. Two patients have died and two were excluded from endoscopic biopsy because of portal hypertension. Sixty-six patients complied with the surveillance protocol, and their histologic results were returned to our center. Symptomatic follow-up of the 34 patients who refused surveillance esophagogastro and duodenoscopy revealed two patients who were taking medication for reflux symptoms. None of the patients have developed high-grade dysplasia or esophageal carcinoma during surveillance endoscopy (337 total patient-years of follow-up). The incidence of regression of intestinal metaplasia to cardiac-fundic-type metaplasia after successful antireflux surgery is greater than previously reported. We suspect that this is a result of longer follow-up and the inclusion of patients with short-segment Barrett's esophagus. A substantial number of patients with Barrett's esophagus who are asymptomatic after antireflux surgery refuse surveillance endoscopy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Barrett Esophagus / pathology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies