Objective: to determine whether balloon cytology would allow a nonendoscopic diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus.
Methods: In 10 unselected patients with Barrett's esophagus, balloon cytology was performed with a Brandt esophageal cytology balloon catheter prior to endoscopy/esophageal biopsy. Specimens were cytologically evaluated for the presence of goblet cells and/or dysplasia.
Results: No patient had goblet cells or definitive columnar cell dysplasia.
Conclusion: This technique with a commercially available balloon catheter does not allow for a nonendoscopic diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus.