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columnar-lined esophagus

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Intestinal metaplasia in the columnar-lined esophagus (CLE) has long been recognized as the most significant histologic risk indicator for esophageal adenocarcinoma.

Recent concern has been expressed, however, that nonintestinalized metaplastic columnar epithelia (cardiac epithelium in the esophagus) may also indicate risk.

Systematic biopsies of CLE as described in this study separate patients into those with and without intestinal metaplasia in such a manner as to remove the possibility of false-negative diagnosis of intestinal metaplasia.

When intestinal metaplasia is absent using this biopsy protocol, the patient is at no or extremely low risk for dysplasia and cancer.

When biopsies have a lower level of sampling of the segment of CLE, the absence of intestinal metaplasia cannot be interpreted as a true negative for intestinal metaplasia.

Inadequate sampling is a powerful reason why the near absolute association between intestinal metaplasia and adenocarcinoma is not seen in some studies.

References

- Columnar-Lined Esophagus Without Intestinal Metaplasia Has No Proven Risk of Adenocarcinoma.Chandrasoma P, Wijetunge S, Demeester S, Ma Y, Hagen J, Zamis L, Demeester T. Am J Surg Pathol. 2011 Sep 28. PMID: #21959311#