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Common Questions About Barrett Esophagus - Article
ABSTRACT: Barrett esophagus is a precancerous metaplasia of the esophagus that is more common in patients with chronic reflux symptoms, although it also occurs in patients without symptomatic reflux. Other risk factors include smoking, male sex, obesity, white race, hiatal hernia, and increasing age (particularly older than 50 years). Although Barrett esophagus is a risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma, its management and the need for screening or surveillance endoscopy are debatable. The annual incidence of progression to esophageal cancer is 0.12% to 0.33%; progression is more common in patients with high-grade dysplasia and long-segment Barrett esophagus. Screening endoscopy should be considered for patients with multiple risk factors, and those who have lesions with high-grade dysplasia should undergo endoscopic mucosal resection or other endoscopic procedures to remove the lesions. Although the cost-effectiveness is questionable, patients with nondysplastic Barrett esophagus can be followed with endoscopic surveillance. Lowgrade dysplasia should be monitored or eradicated via endoscopy. Although there is no evidence that medical or surgical therapies to reduce acid reflux prevent neoplastic progression, proton pump inhibitors can be used to help control reflux symptoms.