Intestinal Metaplasia of the Esophagus in Children With Esophageal Atresia

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Patients with esophageal atresia/tracheoesophageal fistula (EA-TEF) can develop Barrett esophagus as a long-term consequence of their condition. Intestinal metaplasia (IM), a risk factor for developing adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, has not been well characterized in the pediatric population.


Retrospective review of patients with EA-TEF followed at 3 academic pediatric centers between the years 1997 and 2014.


Among 542 children and adolescents, 1.3% (7 patients, 5 girls) were diagnosed with IM based on endoscopy and pathology. Six of the patients had EA-TEF type C, whereas the last patient had a “long gap” type A atresia. Patients were diagnosed with gastric metaplasia either before the IM diagnosis in 4 patients or concomitantly in 3. The median (range) age of diagnosis for gastric metaplasia was 7.9 (range 2–17.2) and for IM 10.9 (2–17.2) years. Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) symptoms were nonspecific. Five patients were on proton pump inhibitor therapy for symptomatic GER at the time of diagnosis of IM. 2 of the 7 patients had previously undergone Nissen fundoplication. One patient, who had undergone a Nissen fundoplication, was restarted on proton pump inhibitor once the diagnosis of IM was made. All patients had repeated endoscopy and dysplasia was not observed with a median follow-up of 1.7 (range 1–4.9) years.


IM occurs in patients with EA-TEF, some as young as 2 years. Therefore, early endoscopic surveillance should be considered in this GER-prone population.

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