Barrett's epithelium after antireflux surgery

J Gastrointest Surg. 2005 Dec;9(9):1253-60; discussion 1260-1. doi: 10.1016/j.gassur.2005.09.027.


Barrett's epithelium (BE), defined as endoscopically visible, histologically proved intestinal-type epithelium in the esophagus, is considered the ultimate consequence of long-standing gastro(duodeno)esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Recent reports suggest that effective antireflux therapy may promote the regression of this metaplastic process. This study aimed to establish whether antireflux surgery (laparoscopic fundoplication) can induce any endoscopic and/or histologic changes in BE. Thirty-five consecutive cases of BE (11 short-segment [SBE] and 24 long-segment [LBE]) were considered. All patients underwent extensive biopsy sampling before and after surgery (mean follow-up, 28 months; range, 12-99 mo). In all cases, (a) intestinal metaplasia (IM) extension (H&E), (b) IM phenotype (high-iron diamine [HID]), and (c) Cdx2 immunohistochemical expression were histologically scored in the biopsy material obtained before and after fundoplication. After surgery, a significant decrease in IM extension and a shift from incomplete- to complete-type IM were documented in SBE. No significant changes occurred in the LBE group in terms of IM extension or histochemical phenotype. A drop in the immunohistochemical expression of Cdx2 protein was also only documented in the SBE group. Antireflux surgery significantly modifies the histologic phenotype of SBE, but not of LBE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Barrett Esophagus / etiology
  • Barrett Esophagus / pathology*
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Fundoplication*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / pathology*
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged