The prevalence of Barrett's esophagus in patients undergoing gastroscopy may be influenced by possible referral bias.
Dr Veldhuyzen van Zanten and colleagues studied the prevalence of Barrett's from the Canadian Adult Dyspepsia Empirical Therapy Prompt Endoscopy study.
The investigative team explored potential risk factors for its presence.
The team included patients who had not been on treatment for dyspepsia for 2 to 4 weeks prior to endoscopy.
Endoscopy was performed within 10 working days of presentation.
Barrett's esophagus was endoscopically suspected in 53 of 1040 cases and histologically confirmed by the presence of intestinal metaplasia in 25.
The prevalence of biopsy-proven Barrett's esophagus was 4% in patients with dominant reflux-like symptoms.
|64% with confirmed Barrett's esophagus had dominant reflux-like symptoms|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
The team found that 64% with confirmed Barrett's esophagus had dominant reflux-like symptoms compared with 37% without Barrett's esophagus.
Barrett's esophagus was more common in patients over 50 years of age, and 68% of cases were males.
The investigators noted that the mean duration of symptoms was 10 years, yet 16% had symptoms of less than 1-year duration.
Endoscopic reflux esophagitis was present in 68% of confirmed Barrett's esophagus patients.
Dr Veldhuyzen van Zanten's team concludes, “Barrett's esophagus is confirmed on biopsy in about half of endoscopically suspected Barrett's esophagus patients.”
“Barrett's esophagus is more common in males, in those with dominant reflux-like symptoms, and in patients with a longer symptom history.”