Barrett's esophagus and adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and gastroesophageal junction.
Since 1985, 57 patients with adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and gastroesophageal (GE) junction have undergone surgical resection. In this group, 16 of the tumors arose in a Barrett's esophagus. There was a significant predilection toward white men above the age of 55 (15/16; 94%) in this subgroup. The mean proximal extent of abnormal columnar involvement was 5.4 cm above the gastroesophageal junction (range 2.5 to 11 cm). The mean location of the neoplasm centered in the distal esophagus 1.8 +/- 0.5 cm above the gastroesophageal junction. During the same time period, 30 patients with Barrett's esophagus were seen without associated adenocarcinoma. There were no statistical differences in the proximal extent of columnar involvement or the presence of reflux symptoms between the two groups. There were no significant differences in age, smoking history, and alcohol consumption between patients with benign or malignant Barrett's esophagus as compared to those with adenocarcinoma of the gastroesophageal junction not associated with Barrett's mucosa. The marked male predominance seen in the group with malignant Barrett's esophagus was in contrast to the benign cases (16/30; 53%) but was similar to the adenocarcinoma group, without recognized Barrett's esophagus (38/41; 93%). The mean location of the tumor in the latter was 0.9 +/- 1.2 cm above the gastroesophageal junction and was comparable to the location in the group with Barrett's adenocarcinoma. The 4-year survival rate of patients in the non-Barrett's adenocarcinoma group is approximately 30%. Of those with Barrett's adenocarcinoma, the present 4-year survival rate is 60%. The demographic and morphometric similarities between the Barrett's and non-Barrett's adenocarcinoma groups may be of primary importance in determining the true clinical prevalence of Barrett's adenocarcinoma. Our findings suggest that the sensitivity of endoscopic surveillance may be improved if biopsy specimens are concentrated within the distal 3 cm of the esophagus and the esophagogastric junction. Finally, the reason for the current difference in survival between the Barrett's and non-Barrett's adenocarcinoma groups is uncertain but may be related to endoscopic surveillance permitting earlier diagnosis and treatment.
Duhaylongsod, FG; Wolfe, WG
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