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An analysis of esophagectomy and other techniques in the management of high-grade dysplasia of Barrett's esophagus


Dr Claude Deschamps, MD, Division of General Thoracic Surgery, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First St, SW, Rochester, MN 50501, USA. Email:


Barrett's esophageal (BE) metaplasia is a premalignant condition of the distal esophagus that develops as a consequence of gastroesophageal reflux disease. The progression to carcinogenesis results from progressive dysplastic changes of the metaplastic epithelium through low-grade and then high-grade dysplasia (HGD) to eventually adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. The management of HGD is controversial with proponents for each of the three major management strategies: endoscopic surveillance, endoscopic ablative therapies, and esophagectomy. The aim of the study was to define and discuss the various management strategies of HGD arising from BE metaplasia. There is a paucity of randomized controlled data from which to draw definitive conclusions. All strategies for the management of HGD are reasonable options and are complimentary. BE with HGD is a malignant lesion. A multidisciplinary approach individualizing therapy should be undertaken when possible. Esophageal resection should be reserved for otherwise healthy patients. Endoscopic techniques are viable alternatives to surgery.