Missed Opportunities for Screening and Surveillance of Barrett’s Esophagus in Veterans with Esophageal Adenocarcinoma
Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is the premalignant lesion of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) and is the target of early detection and prevention efforts for EAC.
We sought to evaluate what proportion and temporal trends of EAC patients had missed opportunities for screening and surveillance of BE.
Our study included 182 patients with EAC at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas, between 02/2005 and 09/2017. We conducted a retrospective audit of patients’ medical records for any previous upper endoscopies (EGDs) for screening or surveillance of BE prior to their EAC diagnosis.
The mean age of the cohort was 67.3 years (SD = 9.5); 99.5% of patients were male, and 85.2% were white. Only 45 patients (24.7%) had EGD at any time prior to the cancer diagnosing EGD, of whom 29 (15.9% of all EAC cases) had an established BE diagnosis. In the 137 patients with no prior EGD, most (63.5%) had GERD or were obese or ever smokers. There were no changes in patterns over time. For the 29 patients with prior established BE, 22 (75.8%) were diagnosed with EAC as a result of surveillance EGD. Patients with prior established BE were more likely to be diagnosed at 0 or I stage (p < 0.001) and managed with endoscopic or surgical modalities (p < 0.001) than patients without prior BE.
Despite having established risk factors for BE, the majority of EAC patients had no prior EGD to screen for BE. BE screening may represent the largest missed opportunity to reduce EAC mortality.
KeywordsEsophageal adenocarcinoma Barrett’s esophagus Screening and surveillance Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) Quality improvement GERD Guidelines
TAH acquired, analyzed, and interpreted the data and drafted the manuscript. APT analyzed and interpreted the data, drafted the manuscript, and critically revised the manuscript for important intellectual content. HBE and NSH were involved in study concept and design, drafting of the manuscript, and the critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding this paper.
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