Barrett's esophagus a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a precursor of esophageal adenocarcinoma. The incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma has been increasing in most Western countries. Rio Grande do Sul (RS), the Southernmost state of Brazil has the highest rates of esophageal cancer with low prevalence of esophageal adenocarcinoma.
To investigate the prevalence of Barrett's esophagus among patients underwent to upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in the last 5 years.
The records of patients underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy between 2011 and 2015 were analyzed. Demographic data, GERD symptoms, endoscopic findings, extension and histological diagnosis of columnar epithelia of the esophagus were recorded. Significance among the variables was accessed by chi-square test and Fisher's exact test with 95% CI.
A total of 5996 patients underwent to upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in the period were included. A total of 1769 (30%) patients with GERD symptoms or esophagitis and 107 (1.8%) with columnar lined esophagus were identified. Except for eight patients, the others with columnar lined esophagus had GERD symptoms or esophagitis. Barrett's esophagus defined by the presence of intestinal metaplasia occurred in 47 patients; 20 (43%) with segments over 3 cm and 27 (57%) with segments shorter than 3 cm. The global prevalence of Barrett's esophagus was 0.7% and in GERD patients 2.7%. The odds ratio for the occurrence of columnar lined esophagus in patients with GERD was 30 (95%CI=15.37-63.34). The odds ratio for the presence of intestinal metaplasia in long segments was 8 (95%CI=2.83-23.21).
GERD patients had a risk 30-folds greater to present columnar lined esophagus than patients without GERD symptoms. Long segments of columnar lined esophagus, had a risk eight-folds higher to have Barrett's esophagus than short segments. Barrett's esophagus overall prevalence was 0.7%. In GERD patients, the prevalence was 2.7%. Long Barrett's esophagus represented globally 0.3% and 1.1% in GERD patients.