3 years ago

Risk of Neoplastic Progression Among Patients with an Irregular Z Line on Long-Term Follow-Up

David Itskoviz, Alex Vilkin, Rachel Gingold-Belfer, Doron Boltin, Ram Dickman, Yaron Niv, Zohar Levi, Iris Dotan, Yifat Snir



Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is a known complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease. In a previous study, we described a high prevalence of intestinal metaplasia (IM) in patients with an irregular Z line. However, the clinical importance of this finding is unclear.


To evaluate the long-term development of BE and relevant complications in patients diagnosed with an irregular Z line, with or without IM, on routine esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy (EGD).


In our previously described cohort, 166 out of 2000 consecutive patients were diagnosed with an incidental irregular Z line. Of those with irregular Z line, 43% had IM. In this continuation study, patients’ status was reassessed after a median follow-up of 70 months. Patients were divided into two groups: Patients with IM (IM-positive group) and without IM (IM-negative group). The incidence of long-term development of BE, dysplasia, and esophageal adenocarcinoma were compared between groups.


At least one follow-up EGD was performed in 102 (61%) patients with an irregular Z line. Endoscopic evidence of BE was found in eight IM-positive patients (8/50 [16%]) and in one IM-negative patient (1/52 [1.9%]). Two (4%) IM-positive patients developed BE with low-grade dysplasia. None of the patients developed high-grade dysplasia, or esophageal adenocarcinoma.


Patients with irregular Z line do not develop major BE complication in more than 5 years of follow-up.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10620-018-4910-1

DOI: 10.1007/s10620-018-4910-1

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