Reflux1.com: Great Information, Real Community, Better Living.
 Register
 Login
 Main Page
 Reflux News
Feature Story
 Education Center
Conditions
Treatments
Diagnostics
 Living with GERD Center
 Pharmacology Center
Dr. Jamie Koufman  Reflux
 Hero™

Dr. Jamie Koufman:
Treating Reflux with Diet.
About Heroes
 Join the Discussion in  Our Forums
 Community
Reflux1 Forums
Patient Stories
Frequently Asked
   Questions
 Reference
Online Resources
Locate a Specialist
Video Library
advertisement
Search the Body1 Network
September 20, 2020  
HEARTBURN NEWS: Feature Story

  • Print this Article
  • Email this Article
  • Links/Reprints
  • Screening for Reflux and Barrett's Esophagus

    New Recommendations for Barrett's Esophagus Screening


    May 07, 2004

    By Rebecca Ostrom for Reflux1

    A recent review article in the journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics outlines how often one should be screened for Barrett’s esophagus, a condition in which the acid from reflux changes the cellular structure of the esophageal lining. The article was written by S. J. Spechler and his colleagues at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Dallas

    Chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and Barrett’s esophagus are associated with an increased risk of a rare esophageal cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma. Because of this, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) recommends regular screening to patients with GERD symptoms. Researchers say this preventive measure is as effective in recognizing Barrett’s esophagus as regular mammograms are in screening for breast cancer. Catching Barrett’s esophagus early in its development allows patients and medical professionals to intervene and possibly prevent the development of cancer.

    The primary procedure for detecting Barrett’s esophagus is an endoscopy. During an endoscopy a narrow tube with a small camera attached is inserted into the digestive tract. The doctor can use this to see what damage has occurred and identify conditions such as Barrett’s esophagus. The article suggests that all patients with GERD should have an upper endoscopy. Further testing, including biopsies, may be necessary to accurately diagnose a condition. Any patients who are found to have Barrett’s esophagus should repeat the endoscopy procedure every three years.

    GERD can also lead to dysplasia, or abnormal cell development, in the lining of the esophagus. Patients who have been diagnosed with low-grade dysplasia should receive an endoscopy annually, while those with high-grade dysplasia may wish to undergo an endoscopy every three months. If the condition has advanced beyond that, more drastic measures such as an esophagectomy, the removal of the esophagus, may be considered.

    The researchers' findings are somewhat at odds with the ACG’s recommendations for care. Because the cost of the test is relatively high, the ACG does not advise an endoscopy for patients who have only been diagnosed with GERD, because these patients are not yet at high risk for esophageal cancer. However, since Barrett’s esophagus is widely recognized as indicating increased risk for cancer, most physicians will perform endoscopies on patients who have been diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus.

    The researchers arrived at their recommended frequencies for testing using computer models, taking into account both the effectiveness and the cost of the tests.

    Last updated: 07-May-04

    Comments

  • Add Comment
  •    
    Interact on Reflux1

    Discuss this topic with others.
     
    Feature Archives
    Next 5 Features ...

    More Features ...
       
     
    Related Multimedia

    Interview with Dr. Cohen: What is Heartburn? 2

    Interview with Dr. Cohen: Focusing on the Esophagus

    Interview with Dr. Foley: Heartburn

    More Features ...
     
    Related Content
    Understanding Barrett’s Esophagus: Innovation and Awareness

    The Connection Between GERD and Cancer

    GERD Hospitalizations Jump

    Pathway Links Heartburn and Esophageal Cancer

    Soda and Sleeping Pills Linked to Nighttime Heartburn

    More Features ...
     
    Home About Us Press Jobs Advertise With Us Contact Us
    advertisement
    © 2020 Body1 All rights reserved.
    Disclaimer: The information provided within this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for consultation with your physician or healthcare provider. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Owners and Sponsors of this site. By using this site you agree to indemnify, and hold the Owners and Sponsors harmless, from any disputes arising from content posted here-in.