Barrett 's Esophagus : A Complication Of Chronic Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease

1502 Words Oct 17th, 2016 7 Pages
Barrett’s esophagus is a complication in the esophagus from a reflux disease predisposing patients to esophageal adenocarcinoma. Esophageal adenocarcinoma is a tumor in the esophagus that has increased up more than 7-fold over the past few decades. Since there has been such a significant increase in esophageal adenocarcinoma, the topic of endoscopic screening and surveillance for GERD and Barrett’s esophagus is being heavily debated.
Barrett’s esophagus is a result of chronic gastro-esophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD. GERD is a condition that occurs when a backflow of stomach contents, such as acidic fluid, flows back up through the esophagus. Esophageal complications from GERD lead to: reflux esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, and in some cases predisposing patients to esophageal adenocarcinoma. Barrett’s esophagus undergoes a process termed metaplasia, known as one adult tissue replacing another. Barrett’s esophagus is considered to be a premalignant condition in which the esophagus undergoes metaplasia basically the squamous epithelium (normal esophageal lining) of the distal esophagus is replaced with specialized columnar cells including goblet cells (intestinal type). Metaplasia is the body defending itself against acid and bile eroding the lining of the esophagus from GERD. Metaplasia becomes problematic because the intestinal type cells do not belong in the esophagus, which could be masking the damage that requires immediate attention.
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