Background: Surveillance programmes for Barrett's oesophagus have been implemented in an effort to detect oesophageal adenocarcinoma at an earlier and potentially curable stage. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of endoscopic surveillance on the clinical outcome of patients with adenocarcinoma complicating Barrett's oesophagus.
Method: Consecutive patients who underwent oesophageal resection for high-grade dysplasia or adenocarcinoma arising from Barrett's oesophagus were studied retrospectively. The pathological stage and survival of patients identified as part of a surveillance programme were compared with those of patients presenting with symptomatic adenocarcinoma.
Results: Seventeen patients in the surveillance group and 74 in the non-surveillance group underwent oesophagectomy. Disease detected in the surveillance programme was at a significantly earlier stage: 13 of 17 versus 11 of 74 stage 0 or I, three versus 26 stage II, and one versus 37 stage III or IV (P < 0.001). Lymphatic metastases were seen in three of 17 patients in the surveillance group and 42 of 74 who were not under surveillance (P = 0.004). Three-year survival was 80 and 31 per cent respectively (P = 0.008).
Conclusion: Patients with surveillance-detected adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus are diagnosed at an earlier stage and have a better prognosis than those who present with symptomatic tumours.
Copyright 2004 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd.