Article Text

Reminder of important clinical lesson
The definition and management of Barrett’s oesophagus: a case report, review of the literature and a suggestion for the future
  1. Elizabeth Louise Bird-Lieberman1,
  2. Pierre Lao-Sirieix1,
  3. Ibitsam Saeed2,
  4. David Khoo3,
  5. Rodney Burnham4,
  6. Rebecca Fitzgerald1
  1. 1
    MRC Cancer Cell Unit, Hutchison-MRC Research Centre, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB22 0XZ, UK
  2. 2
    Queen’s Hospital, Department of Pathology, Romford, Essex, RM7 0BE, UK
  3. 3
    Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust, Department of Surgery, Rom Valley Way, Romford, RM7 0AG, UK
  4. 4
    Department of Gastroenterology, Queen’s Hospital, Romford, Essex, RM7 0BE, UK
  1. Rebecca Fitzgerald, rcf{at}


The definition of Barrett’s oesophagus continues to evolve and there has been divergence in the diagnostic criteria internationally, which has implications for surveillance practices and research inclusion criteria. Here we describe the case of a 69-year-old female with 10 cm of gastric-type columnar-lined oesophagus confirmed on histochemical staining. Surveillance biopsies, performed according to protocol, revealed an intramucosal adenocarcinoma. The patient was successfully treated with a transhiatal oesophagectomy and a detailed examination of the entire surgical specimen confirmed that the columnar oesophagus was lined by gastric villiform mucosa complicated by intramucosal carcinoma, on the background of dysplasia with no intestinal metaplasia. This highlights the spectrum of metaplastic epithelia that can harbour malignant potential. There is a need for an international consensus on the classification of Barrett’s oesophagus to aid research progress. Therefore, we propose a new classification for Barrett’s oesophagus based on a combination of endoscopic and histopathological features.

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  • Competing interests: none.

  • Patient consent: Patient/guardian consent was obtained for publication.

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