The endoscopic surveillance of Barrett's esophagus is routine. However, the magnitude of risk is unclear.
In this study, researchers from Northern Ireland assessed the risk of esophageal malignancy in a large cohort of patients with Barrett's esophagus.
The team evaluated the pathology reports relating to all esophageal biopsies in Northern Ireland between 1993 and 1999, and included all adults with esophageal columnar epithelium.
The team excluded malignant biopsies.
| The malignancy rate was greater in men than women.|
|British Medical Journal|
The physicians found that of 15,670 esophageal biopsies, 4955 the criteria for Barrett's esophagus.
The team identified 29 esophageal malignancies in the cohort.
Esophageal malignancy was 0.26% at 1 year, overall, and 0.4% for patients with specialized intestinal metaplasia.
They determined that the malignancy rate was greater in men than women.
However, the team found that patients with Barrett's esophagus are at low risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Dr Liam Murray's team concluded, "Robust methods for stratifying risk and targeting surveillance in Barrett's esophagus are needed".