Visible endoscopic and histologic changes in the cardia, before and after complete Barrett's esophagus ablation

Gastrointest Endosc. 2005 Apr;61(4):515-21. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5107(05)00131-8.


Background: Adverse events associated with the thermal ablation of Barrett's esophagus (BE) include the generation of gastric mucosa buried beneath the neosquamous regrowth, and unrecognized development and growth of adenocarcinomas. No reports exist regarding the endoscopic appearance and histology of the cardia before and after BE ablation. The aim of our study was to assess the relative frequency of the occurrence of visible endoscopic and histologic changes in the cardia, before and after complete BE ablation.

Methods: A subset analysis of patients with uncomplicated BE, BE with dysplasia, or early carcinoma, who had been enrolled into one of 4 ongoing prospective studies of mucosal ablation, was examined. Eighty-two patients were identified who entered a BE ablation study, with 75 of these completing BE mucosal ablation. Cardia biopsy specimens were taken in all patients before ablation and serially after BE ablation. Cardia histology was graded by using the modified Sydney System for gastritis.

Results: Before ablation, cardia nodules were noted in 3, cardia intestinal metaplasia (IM) in 7 (8.5%), and none harbored cardia dysplasia. Postablation surveillance ranged from 3 to 75 months (mean 31.1 months [19.5]). Six subjects (8%) developed cardia nodules during surveillance; cardia IM was found in 21(28%), with 17 of these being a new finding (incidence of 25%). Cardia low-grade dysplasia incidence was 1.3% and high-grade dysplasia was 4% after BE ablation.

Conclusions: The pathophysiology of the abnormal cardia histology and the endoscopic lesions (nodules) is unclear, but endoscopic surveillance of not only the neosquamous epithelium but also the cardia should be considered after ablation, especially in those high-grade dysplasia and early adenocarcinoma BE patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy
  • Aged
  • Barrett Esophagus / pathology*
  • Barrett Esophagus / therapy*
  • Cardia / pathology*
  • Electrocoagulation
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Coagulation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Photochemotherapy
  • Prospective Studies