Author(s): Schneider NI, Plieschnegger W, Geppert M, Wigginghaus B, Hoess GM,
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Abstract In patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), histology is generally believed to be a tool of limited diagnostic value. Our study aimed to assess the prevalence of microscopic esophageal lesions as defined by the Esohisto consensus guidelines, which have proven high interobserver agreement in previous studies. In the prospective Central European multicenter histoGERD trial, we recruited 1071 individuals (576 females and 495 males; median age, 53 years; range, 15-93 years) undergoing gastroscopy for nonselected reasons. Biopsy material was systematically sampled from above and below the gastroesophageal junction. Overall, histologic diagnosis of mild and severe esophagitis was made in 423 (39.5\%) and 296 (27.6\%) individuals, respectively, whereas the squamous mucosa of 352 individuals (32.9\%) was normal upon histology or showed only insignificant findings. Proliferative changes of the squamous epithelium, in particular basal cell layer hyperplasia, papillary elongation, and intercellular space dilation, were more common than inflammatory cell infiltration. The presence of microscopic esophagitis was associated with male sex (P = .009), patients' symptoms (P = .003), history of proton pump inhibitor intake (P < .001), and the endoscopic diagnosis of esophagitis (P < .001). Notably, among the 450 patients with no endoscopic signs of esophagitis (Los Angeles Category N), 41.8\% and 17.1\% were identified with mild and severe (microscopic) esophagitis, respectively, indicating higher sensitivity of histologic diagnosis. In conclusion, our data illustrate the value of histology in the workup of patients with reflux disease. We suggest that biopsies should routinely be obtained when patients undergo upper gastrointestinal endoscopy for evaluation of GERD and may particularly be beneficial in patients with nonerosive reflux disease. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Hum Pathol
and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System