Acetic acid-enhanced chromoendoscopy is more cost-effective than protocol-guided biopsies in a high-risk Barrett's population

Dis Esophagus. 2012 Jul;25(5):386-92. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2050.2011.01267.x. Epub 2011 Oct 7.


To examine the efficacy and potential cost implications of acetic acid (AA) chromoendoscopy in the assessment of Barrett's neoplasia. Our prospective database of patients referred between 2005 and 2010 with suspected early neoplasia was reviewed. High-resolution Fujinon gastroscopes and EPX-4400 processor were used. Inspection of Barrett's neoplasia was carried out using white light followed by AA. Neoplastic areas were noted, and targeted biopsy was carried out. This was followed by quadrantic biopsies of the remaining Barrett's neoplasia. The cost of protocol-guided biopsies was compared with AA-guided biopsy protocols. Two hundred sixty-three procedures on 197 patients were examined. High-risk neoplasia was found during 143 procedures. In 96% of cases it was identified with AA. The cost of histological evaluation by Cleveland protocol would be £139,416.30. The cost by AA-targeted biopsy followed by random biopsies in one pot would be £25,032.50. For AA-targeted biopsies alone the cost would be £9,541.8 but results in a 4% miss rate. AA localizes neoplastic lesions in the majority of patients and could potentially represent a significant cost saving in patients with suspected neoplasia.

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Barrett Esophagus / pathology*
  • Biopsy
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Esophagoscopy / economics
  • Esophagoscopy / methods*
  • Esophagus / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Acetic Acid