Hepatocyte Paraffin 1 Antigen as a Biomarker for Early Diagnosis of Barrett Esophagus

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We evaluated hepatocyte paraffin 1 (HepPar1) antigen expression, a sensitive marker of small intestinal differentiation, in combination with morphologic features to demonstrate intestinal differentiation in cases equivocal for Barrett esophagus (BE). Clinicopathologic features and HepPar1 expression were recorded for 54 BE cases, 45 consistent with reflux esophagitis (RE) cases, and 65 “suspicious” for BE (SBE) cases. The SBE category included RE cases with 2 or more morphologic changes associated with BE or metaplastic reaction to injury (eg, multilayered epithelium, squamous islands, goblet cell mimickers, pancreatic metaplasia). HepPar1 was expressed in all 54 BE cases, 4 of 45 RE cases, and 24 of 65 SBE cases. In SBE cases, 2 or more morphologic changes were associated with HepPar1 expression in 37% of cases (24/65), 3 or more features in 59% (13/22), and 4 or more features in 100% (4/4) (P ≤ .004). The combination of certain morphologic changes and HepPar1 expression in clinically suspicious distal esophageal biopsy cases without goblet cells supports the presence of evolving intestinal metaplasia.

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