Screening for Barrett’s esophagus: Balancing Clinical Value and Cost-effectiveness

Amit Patel, C. Prakash Gyawali

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In predisposed individuals with long standing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), esophageal squamous mucosa can transform into columnar mucosa with intestinal metaplasia, commonly called Barrett’s esophagus (BE). Barrett’s mucosa can develop dysplasia, which can be a precursor for esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). However, most EAC cases are identified when esophageal symptoms develop, without prior BE or GERD diagnoses. While several gastrointestinal societies have published BE screening guidelines, these vary, and many recommendations are not based on high quality evidence. These guidelines are concordant in recommending targeted screening of predisposed individuals (eg, long standing GERD symptoms with age > 50 years, male sex, Caucasian race, obesity, and family history of BE or EAC), and against population based screening, or screening of GERD patients without risk factors. Targeted endoscopic screening programs provide earlier diagnosis of high grade dysplasia and EAC, and offer potential for endoscopic therapy, which can improve prognosis and outcome. On the other hand, endoscopic screening of the general population, unselected GERD patients, patients with significant comorbidities or patients with limited life expectancy is not cost-effective. New screening modalities, some of which do not require endoscopy, have the potential to reduce costs and expand access to screening for BE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019


  • Adenocarcinoma of esophagus
  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Gastroesophageal reflux


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