Barrett esophagus: an update

Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Jul;7(7):369-78. doi: 10.1038/nrgastro.2010.78. Epub 2010 Jun 1.


Many developments have been made in the field of Barrett esophagus that have tremendous clinical implications. There are new definitions of Barrett esophagus that have had an immediate clinical impact on cancer risk and screening. Of interest is the definition by the British Society of Gastroenterology, which does not require the presence of intestinal metaplasia for a diagnosis of Barrett esophagus. Imaging techniques that allow improved visualization of intestinal metaplasia at the cellular level are now being used in clinical practice. New hypotheses elucidating the progression from squamous epithelium to intestinal metaplasia have been proposed. Indeed, the crucial role that transcription factors have in the pathogenesis of Barrett esophagus has been clarified. Improved characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying Barrett esophagus is an incentive to undertake more basic science research in this field. Such research could also help with the development of chemoprevention strategies for this precancerous condition. This Review discusses the advances in understanding of the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of Barrett esophagus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Barrett Esophagus* / diagnosis
  • Barrett Esophagus* / etiology
  • Barrett Esophagus* / therapy
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4
  • CDX2 Transcription Factor
  • Catheter Ablation
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Photochemotherapy


  • BMP4 protein, human
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4
  • CDX2 Transcription Factor
  • CDX2 protein, human
  • Homeodomain Proteins