font size

Definition of Barrett's esophagus

Barrett's esophagus: A complication of severe chronic GERD (gastrointestinal reflux disease) involving changes in the cells of the tissue that line the bottom of the esophagus. These esophageal cells become irritated when the contents of the stomach back up (refluxes) and there is a small but definite increased risk of adenocarcinoma (cancer) of the esophagus. The diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus rests upon seeing (through endoscopy) a pink esophageal lining (mucosa) that extends a short distance (usually less than 2.5 inches) up the esophagus from the gastroesophageal junction and finding intestinal type cells (goblet cells) on biopsy of the lining. Treatment is, in general, essentially the same as for GERD both medically (with acid-suppression drugs) and surgically (with fundoplication).

Named after Norman Rupert Barrett (1903-1979), an eminent thoracic surgeon born in Australia who studied medicine and practiced in Britain.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=31353
Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News

GI Disorders

Get the latest treatment options.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations