Normalization of Intestinal Metaplasia in the Esophagus and Esophagogastric Junction: Incidence and Clinical Data

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Attention has focused on whether normalization, regression, and development of dysplasia and cancer in specialized intestinal metaplasia (SIM) differ among long-segment Barrett's esophagus (LSBE), short-segment BE (SSBE), and esophagogastric junction SIM (EGJSIM). We prospectively followed a cohort of SIM patients receiving long-term antisecretory medications to determine: (a) histologic normalization (no evidence of SIM on biopsy), (b) change in SIM length, (c) incidence of dysplasia and cancer, and (d) factors associated with normalization.


One hundred forty-eight patients with SIM were identified in our original cohort. Of these, 60.5% (23/38) LSBE, 69.8% (44/63) SSBE, and 72.3% (34/47) EGJSIM patients underwent repeat surveillance over a mean 44.4 ± 9.7 months. Demographic, clinical, and endoscopic data were obtained.


(a) With long-term, antisecretory therapy, normalization occurred in 0/23 LSBE, 30% (13/44) of SSBE, and 68% (23/34) of EGJSIM (P < 0.001). (b) Normalization was more likely with EGJSIM (odds ratio [OR] 6.7, CI 2.3–19.3, P= 0.005), female gender (OR 7.3, CI 2.3–23.1, P= 0.001), or absence of hiatal hernia (OR 2.9, CI 1.02–8.06, P= 0.002). (c) A significant decrease in mean SIM length was noted for the entire population (2.5 ± 0.3 to 2.13 ± 0.3 cm, P= 0.004). (d) Follow-up incidence of dysplasia and cancer was 26.1% (3 indefinite, 2 low-grade dysplasia [LGD], 1 cancer) for LSBE, 6.8% (2 indefinite, 1 LGD) for SSBE, and none for EGJSIM (P < 0.004).


(a) Normalization of SIM occurs most frequently in EGJSIM>SSBE>LSBE. (b) Factors associated with normalization favor less severe GER and shorter segments of SIM. (c) Surveillance of LSBE results in the greatest yield for identifying dysplasia and cancer.

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