Incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma in patients with Barrett's esophagus and high-grade dysplasia: a meta-analysis

Gastrointest Endosc. 2008 Mar;67(3):394-8. doi: 10.1016/j.gie.2007.07.019. Epub 2007 Nov 28.


Background: Patients with Barrett's esophagus (BE) and high-grade dysplasia (HGD) are at a high risk for developing esophageal adenocarcinoma. However, the reported rate of cancer development in patients with HGD who were undergoing surveillance has varied among published studies.

Objective: To determine an overall precise estimate of cancer incidence in patients with HGD who were undergoing surveillance endoscopy.

Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods: We conducted a systematic search of the published literature and selected original articles that examined patients with histologically proven BE and HGD, patients who had not undergone endoscopic ablation or surgical therapy, patients with 6 months' follow-up, no esophageal cancer at the time of enrollment or within 6 months, and studies in which follow-up was reported in person-time. Two investigators independently conducted the search and abstraction.

Main outcome measurement: The weighted mean event rate was calculated and expressed as the weighted incidence rate, and its CIs were calculated.

Results: The search yielded 4 articles that met the inclusion criteria, and these were analyzed. A total of 236 patients with HGD were followed for 1241 patient-years, and esophageal adenocarcinoma was reported in 69 patients, providing a crude incidence rate of 5.57 per 100 patient-years. The weighted incidence rate was 6.58 per 100 patient-years (95% CI, 4.97-8.19).

Limitations: A small number of studies that met inclusion criteria.

Conclusions: In patients with BE and with HGD who were undergoing surveillance, esophageal adenocarcinoma develops in approximately 6 per 100 patient-years during the first few years of follow-up. These data may better inform physicians and patients in management decisions.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology*
  • Barrett Esophagus / complications*
  • Barrett Esophagus / pathology*
  • Endoscopy
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence