Oesophagectomy remains the gold standard for treatment of high-grade dysplasia in Barrett's oesophagus

Sujendran, Vijay; Sica, Giuseppe; Warren, Bryan; Maynard, Nicholas
November 2005
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;Nov2005, Vol. 28 Issue 5, p763
Academic Journal
Abstract: Aim: The goal of surveillance in Barrett''s oesophagus is to detect high-grade dysplasia (HGD). The natural history of HGD is unclear, but because of the reported high risk of coexistent invasive carcinoma, oesophagectomy is currently the gold standard treatment. Recent reports suggest the risk of coexistent tumour may be lower and that the optimum treatment for HGD is continuing surveillance or mucosal ablation treatment, reserving oesophagectomy for those patients with invasive malignancy. To re-examine the role of oesophagectomy we looked at the incidence of invasive cancer in patients undergoing resection for HGD and their subsequent outcome. Methods: Prospective analysis of 240 patients undergoing oesophagectomy over 6 years under a single surgeon in a single centre. Analysis was focused on patients undergoing oesophagectomy for HGD picked up during Barrett''s surveillance endoscopy. The incidence of invasive cancer, morbidity, mortality and survival of this subgroup is reported. Results: Preoperatively, 17 patients were diagnosed with HGD and underwent oesophagectomy. Eleven of 17 (65%) patients had coexistent invasive cancer and six patients had HGD alone in the resected specimens. There was no in-patient mortality, four patients had significant respiratory complications and three patients had radiological/clinical anastomotic leaks. All 6 patients with HGD only are alive to date (3–68 months) and 3 of 11 patients with invasive cancer have died of recurrent disease. Conclusion: We continue to advocate oesophagectomy for HGD as the optimum treatment in the light of the high rate of coexistent invasive cancer. Oesophagectomy for HGD can be performed with low morbidity and minimal mortality in a specialist centre. We hypothesize that the lower rates of invasive cancer found in HGD reported by other groups result from interobserver variation in grading of HGD, variability in histological sampling of the resected oesophagus and variability in the endoscopic technique of acquisition of biopsy samples.


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