Acetic acid-enhanced magnification endoscopy in the diagnosis of specialized intestinal metaplasia, dysplasia and early cancer in Barrett's oesophagus

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2006 Mar 15;23(6):735-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2006.02823.x.


Background: Barrett's surveillance is prone to sampling error. Aim To determine whether enhanced magnification endoscopy using acetic acid instillation improves diagnostic accuracy of specialized intestinal metaplasia/dysplasia in Barrett's oesophagus.

Methods: We examined the detection rate of the specialized intestinal metaplasia/dysplasia in 64 consecutive patients with Barrett's oesophagus using acetic acid to enhance mucosal pit patterns. Histology was compared with the previous findings at recent conventional surveillance in 62 patients. We also examined the inter-/intra-observer agreement in the assessment of the enhanced magnification endoscopy pit pattern findings.

Results: Histology revealed columnar-lined oesophagus in six (9%) patients, specialized intestinal metaplasia in 49 (77%), low-grade dysplasia in five (8%), high-grade dysplasia in one (2%), and adenocarcinoma in three (5%). There was discordance between the histologic findings from conventional surveillance with random biopsy. Fifteen patients (24%) had a histological upgrade with enhanced magnification endoscopy. There was a high detection rate of specialized intestinal metaplasia even in short segment Barrett's oesophagus (74%), and additionally, there were two cancers, one with 2-cm Barrett's oesophagus and one ultra-short (1 cm). The mean kappa values for inter- and intra-observer agreement in assessing the pit patterns were 0.571 (0.041) and 0.709 (0.038), respectively.

Conclusions: Enhanced magnification endoscopy allows clear visualization of the epithelial pit patterns within Barrett's oesophagus, and targeted biopsy results in a high yield of specialized intestinal metaplasia and dysplasia.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Barrett Esophagus / complications
  • Barrett Esophagus / pathology*
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal / methods*
  • Esophagus / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases / complications
  • Intestinal Diseases / pathology*
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Intestines / pathology
  • Male
  • Metaplasia / diagnosis
  • Metaplasia / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation


  • Acetic Acid