The evolution and outcome of surveillance of Barrett's oesophagus over four decades in a UK District General Hospital

Christine Royston, Christine Caygill, Andre Charlett, Karna Dev Bardhan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction We present the long-term outcome of Barrett's oesophagus (BO) at a District General Hospital set against the increasing numbers of patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). Methods Data were collected prospectively over 37 years. Comparison of GORD without Barrett's (NoBO) versus BO was performed from 1/1/1977 to 31/12/2001 when the NoBO database closed and outcomes of all cases of BO diagnosed until 31/12/2011 and followed up until 31/12/2013 have been reported. Results During the period 1977-2001 the number of GORD NoBO cases was 11 610, and that of BO cases was 764 (6.2% of all GORD); total number of BO cases in 1977-2011 was 1468. NoBO patients were younger than BO patients: 52.2 versus 61.6 years. There was a male predominance in both groups: NoBO 55% and BO 62% (P<0.0001). The prevalence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC) was 87/1468 (5.9%) BO cases. Its incidence was 54/1381 (3.9%); the mean interval between the diagnosis of BO and incident OAC was 9 years (range 13 months-25.4 years); there was one OAC per 192 patient-years of follow-up (0.52% per year). Mortality was significantly lower in 37 patients under endoscopic surveillance at the time OAC was diagnosed (51 vs. 88% P=0.0141) partly because of older age and comorbidity of the other 17, in whom serial endoscopy was contraindicated. A proportional hazards model to allow for age estimated that the hazard rate ratio was lower in the surveillance group; however, this difference did not reach statistical significance (0.64, 95% confidence interval 0.30-1.48, P=0.08). Excluding prevalent cancers from both groups, mortality in BO was double that in NoBO (47 vs. 24%). Conclusion These 37 years of observation suggest, but do not confirm, that endoscopic surveillance may reduce the risk of death from OAC. Modern technology is likely to yield better results, but larger prospective studies are needed to confirm the benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365-1373
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Barrett's oesophagus
  • endoscopy
  • gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
  • long-term outcome
  • oesophageal adenocarcinoma
  • surveillance


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