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Barrett's oesophagus

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Barrett's esophagus is a condition in which the esophageal lining changes, becoming similar to the tissue that lines the intestine. A complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it is more likely to occur in patients who experienced GERD at a young age, had nighttime symptoms or had complications such as bleeding or stricture (a narrowing due to scarring).

There is a tendency to penetration, especially in Barrett’s syndrome. Accompanying disorders include hiatal hernia, dilatation of the oesophago-gastric junction and stricture above the junction, oesophageal ulcer and spasms, retrosternal pain, heartburn, dysphagia, vomiting, and gastrointestinal haemorrhage. Usually occurring in middle-aged and elderly persons. A rare disorder of unknown aetiology occurring in both congenital and acquired forms.

The condition was first described by Philip Rowland Allison in 1948.


  • P. R. Allison:
    Peptic ulcer of the Oesopahgus. Thorax, 1948, 3: 20.
  • N. R. Barrett:
    Chronic peptic ulcer of the oesophagus and "oesophagitis".
    British Journal of Surgery, London, 1950, 38: 175-182.
  • P. R. Allison, A. S. Johnstone:
    The esophagus lined with gastric mucous membrane.
    Thorax, 1953, 8: 87.
We thank C. Selvasekar and Dr. Uma Sheth for information submitted.

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