Aim: To determine the prevalence and possible risk factors of Barrett's esophagus (BE) in patients with chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in El Minya and Assuit, Upper Egypt.
Methods: One thousand consecutive patients with chronic GERD symptoms were included in the study over 2 years. They were subjected to history taking including a questionnaire for GERD symptoms, clinical examination and upper digestive tract endoscopy. Endoscopic signs suggestive of columnar-lined esophagus (CLE) were defined as mucosal tongues or an upward shift of the squamocolumnar junction. BE was diagnosed by pathological examination when specialized intestinal metaplasia was detected histologically in suspected CLE. pH was monitored in 40 patients.
Results: BE was present in 7.3% of patients with chronic GERD symptoms, with a mean age of 48.3 +/- 8.2 years, which was significantly higher than patients with GERD without BE (37.4 +/- 13.6 years). Adenocarcinoma was detected in eight cases (0.8%), six of them in BE patients. There was no significant difference between patients with BE and GERD regarding sex, smoking, alcohol consumption or symptoms of GERD. Patients with BE had significantly longer esophageal acid exposure time in the supine position, measured by pH monitoring.
Conclusion: The prevalence of BE in patients with GERD who were referred for endoscopy was 7.3%. BE seems to be associated with older age and more in patients with nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux.