Columnar metaplasia in the esophageal remnant after esophagectomy: a systematic review

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Barrett's metaplasia is a well-recognized risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma. It is believed to develop in response to the injurious effects of gastroesophageal reflux. Following subtotal esophagectomy and reconstruction with a gastric conduit, many patients experience profound reflux into the remnant esophagus. Barrett's-like epithelium has been described in these patients, and they have been identified as a potential human model in which to study the early events in the development of metaplasia. This phenomenon also raises clinical concerns about the long-term fate of the esophageal remnant following surgery and the potential for further malignant change. This systematic review summarizes the literature on the prevalence and timing of Barrett's metaplasia occurring after esophagectomy, reviews the evidence regarding risk factors and malignant progression in such patients, and considers the implications for clinical practice.

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