Neutrophil-Lymphocyte Ratio as a Marker of Progression from Non-Dysplastic Barrett’s Esophagus to Esophageal Adenocarcinoma: a Cross-Sectional Retrospective Study
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Immune imbalance and inflammation have been suggested as key factors of Barrett’s esophagus (BE) pathway towards adenocarcinoma. The neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) indirectly reflects the relation between innate and adaptive immune systems and has been studied in premalignant conditions as a biomarker for cancer diagnosis. Our aim was to investigate if increasing values of NLR correlated with advancing stages of BE progression to dysplasia and neoplasia.
We retrospectively analyzed data of patients with biopsies reporting BE between 2013 and 2017 and with a complete blood count within 6 months from the endoscopy, as well as patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). NLR was calculated as neutrophil count/lymphocyte count. Cases (n = 113) were classified as non-dysplastic BE (NDBE, n = 72), dysplastic BE (DBE, n = 11) and EAC (n = 30).
NLR progressively increased across groups (NDBE, 1.92 ± 0.7; DBE, 2.92 ± 1.1; EAC 4.54 ± 2.9), with a significant correlation between its increasing value and the presence of dysplasia or neoplasia (r = 0.53, p < 0.001). NLR > 2.27 was able to diagnose EAC with 80% sensitivity and 71% specificity (area under the curve = 0.8).
NLR correlates with advancing stages of BE progression, a finding that reinforces the role of immune imbalance in EAC carcinogenesis and suggests a possible use of this marker for risk stratification on surveillance strategies.
KeywordsNeutrophil-lymphocyte ratio Inflammatory biomarkers Esophageal cancer Barrett’s esophagus Barrett’s esophagus surveillance Esophageal adenocarcinoma
All the authors agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. Campos, VJ: conception and design of the work; acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of data; drafting and revising and final approval of the manuscript; Mazzini, GS: conception and design of the work; analysis and interpretation of data; drafting and revising the manuscript; Juchem, JF: acquisition of data; revising the manuscript; Gurski, RR: conception and design of the work; analysis and interpretation of data; revising and final approval of the manuscript.
This study was funded by Fundo de Incentivo à Pesquisa e Eventos do Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre (FIPE-HCPA), Porto Alegre-RS, Brazil.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest
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