A team from Tuscon, Arizona, USA, determined whether there is a correlation between esophageal acid exposure and the length of Barrett's mucosa.
In addition they compared the extent of esophageal acid exposure between patients with short segment (SSBE) and long segment (LSBE) Barrett's esophagus.
Twenty-seven patients with Barrett's esophagus were recruited prospectively into the study from the outpatient gastroenterology clinic at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System.
Diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus and its anatomical characteristics were determined during upper endoscopy. Ambulatory 24-hour esophageal pH monitoring assessed the extent of esophageal acid exposure.
The researchers found there was a significant correlation between the per cent total time the pH was less than 4 and length of Barrett's mucosa. In addition, there was a significant correlation between per cent upright and supine time pH less than 4 and length of Barrett's mucosa.
|Long segment Barrett's patients have more esophageal acid exposure than those with short segment.|
Patients with SSBE were found to have significantly less esophageal acid exposure than patients with LSBE, in terms of both per cent total time and per cent supine time pH less than 4.
Researcher Ronnie Fass said on behalf of the group, "The length of Barrett's mucosa correlated with the duration of esophageal acid exposure. Patients with LSBE experienced significantly more esophageal acid exposure than patients with SSBE."
"Duration of esophageal acid exposure appears to be an important contributing factor in determining the length of Barrett's mucosa," he concluded.