The Role of Acid Suppression in Barrett's Esophagus

Am J Med. 2017 May;130(5):525-529. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2016.12.032. Epub 2017 Feb 1.


In recent years, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have come under great scrutiny due to possible adverse, long-term side effects. At the same time, Barrett's esophagus, a premalignant condition in the esophagus, continues to be a disease whose course is thought to be improved by the use of PPIs. We review the impact of proton pump therapy on the esophagus and on Barrett's mucosa. In analyzing changes on a cellular level, we explore the effect of mixed gastric refluxate and the complex cascade that ensues with esophageal exposure of these contents. Because the incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma is on the rise, we explore other factors that may contribute to the progression of Barrett's from non-dysplastic mucosa to esophageal adenocarcinoma. By revisiting the need for adequate acid suppression in Barrett's and increasing our understanding of other possible factors that may have an effect of Barrett's progression, we hope to support our multifaceted approach to acid suppression in patients with Barrett's esophagus.

Keywords: Acid suppression; Barrett's; Esophagus; Proton pump inhibitors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / prevention & control
  • Barrett Esophagus / drug therapy*
  • Barrett Esophagus / etiology
  • Barrett Esophagus / physiopathology
  • Bile / physiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Esophageal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Esophagus / drug effects
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use*


  • Proton Pump Inhibitors

Supplementary concepts

  • Adenocarcinoma Of Esophagus