Background It has been shown that the presence on diagnosis of endoscopic macroscopic markers indicates a high-risk group for Barrett’s oesophagus.
Aim To determine whether proton pump inhibitor therapy prior to diagnosis of Barrett’s oesophagus influences markers for risk development of subsequent high-grade dysplasia/adenocarcinoma.
Methods A review of all patients with Barrett’s oesophagus entering a surveillance programme was undertaken. Five hundred and two patients diagnosed with Barrett’s oesophagus were assessed on diagnosis for endoscopic macroscopic markers or low-grade dysplasia. Subsequent development of high-grade dysplasia/adenocarcinoma was documented. The relationship between the initiation of proton pump inhibitor therapy prior to the diagnosis of BE and the presence of macroscopic markers or low-grade dysplasia at entry was determined.
Results Fourteen patients developed high-grade dysplasia/adenocarcinoma during surveillance. Patients who entered without prior proton pump inhibitor therapy were 3.4 times (95% CI: 1.98–5.85) more likely to have a macroscopic marker or low-grade dysplasia than those patients already on a proton pump inhibitor.
Conclusions Use of proton pump inhibitor therapy prior to diagnosis of Barrett’s oesophagus significantly reduced the presence of markers used to stratify patient risk. Widespread use of proton pump inhibitors will confound surveillance strategies for patients with Barrett’s oesophagus based on entry characteristics but is justified because of the lower risk of neoplastic progression.