Background: Gastroesophageal junction cancer has increased over time in Western countries. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is considered to be a major risk factor. We prospectively studied the prevalence of clinical, histological and endoscopic GERD, and premalignant changes among dyspeptic Iranian patients referred for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (UGIE).
Methods: Consenting patients referred for UGIE to our clinic were enrolled. Their symptoms were recorded, UGIE was conducted, and biopsies from all suspicious lesions and across the Z-line were taken.
Results: Of the 344 enrolled patients, 269 (135 women, 134 men; mean age: 41.6 years) were evaluated. One major GERD symptom (heart burn, acid regurgitation, dysphagia and chest pain) was seen in 209 (77.6%) patients, and 207 patients (76.1%) had endoscopic esophagitis. Thirteen patients (5%) had specialized intestinal metaplasia at the gastrointestinal junction (SIM-GEJ), and three had glandular dysplasia (two low-grade, one high-grade). No symptom could predict the presence of histological or endoscopic findings. Patients with dysplasia had more advanced degrees of endoscopic esophagitis.
Conclusion: Gastroesophageal reflux disease is common among Iranian patients referred for diagnostic endoscopy. The prevalence of SIM-GEJ among this population was comparable to that reported in Western countries.