Objective: Barrett's esophagus is a metaplastic condition resulting from gastroesophageal reflux disease. Previous medical and surgical therapies have failed to predictably eradicate Barrett's. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of long-term, high-dose lansoprazole, a proton pump inhibitor, on Barrett's esophagus.
Methods: Patients with Barrett's esophagus at least 3 cm long and with specialized columnar epithelium were treated with 60 mg of lansoprazole each morning. Every 6 months, patients had standardized symptomatic, laboratory, and endoscopic assessment. The length of Barrett's esophagus was measured, photo-documented, and biopsied.
Results: Twenty-seven patients with Barrett's esophagus have been treated an average of 2.9 yr. Symptoms improved (70%, 19 patients), and erosive esophagitis healed (100%, 13 patients), but there was no significant reduction in the length of Barrett's epithelium (mean length at baseline 5.7 cm, final visit 5.3 cm). However, by the final visit, 20 of 26 patients (77%) had squamous islands: two unchanged in size, six with increased surface area, and 12 newly developed on therapy. Initially, mean fasting gastrin levels rose significantly but then plateaued after 1 month of therapy. Of 10 patients with gastrin levels for 18 months or longer, only one had a level > or = 400 pg/ml.
Conclusions: Lansoprazole 60 mg for up to 3 yr was safe and effective in controlling symptoms and esophagitis. The impact on the extent of Barrett's esophagus over this time interval was manifested by the extension and development of squamous islands.