Introduction Buried Barrett’s’ or Subsquamous Intestinal Metaplasia (SSIM) refers to glands which are ‘buried’ underneath the squamous epithelium. Buried Barrett’s can pose significant diagnostic and surveillance challenges. Buried Barrett’s has mainly been reported in the post ablation context (APC, RFA, PDT). We aim to evaluate its prevalence in patients who are ablation naïve, and understand the reasons behind it.
Method This is a prospective cohort study. We investigated our Barrett’s database for patients who were referred for endoscopic treatment (EMR) of Barrett’s neoplasia between June 2006 to June 2014. We assessed histology reports before and after endoscopic therapy (EMR), specifically looking for evidence of buried Barrett’s.
Biopsies were first obtained from any suspicious looking area. Following this, biopsies were then obtained from the neosquamous area. Finally, random biopsies were obtained. These were sent in separate cassettes. Histopathology was reported by two independent GI pathologists and was prospectively recorded on a central pathology database.
Buried Barrett’s was defined as any metaplastic or glandular tissue beneath the squamous epithelium. Pathology specimens were reported by 2 independent, accredited GI pathologists.
Results Our study shows that in the pre-EMR cohort, there was an overall prevalence of 12.2% of buried Barrett’s and a 9.1% prevalence of buried Barrett’s with high grade neoplasia (HGD or IMC).
Our results in the post EMR cohort shows an overall prevalence of 16.8% of buried Barrett’s with 6.1% prevalence of buried high grade neoplasia (HGD or IMC). This has significant implications for post EMR endoscopic assessment and surveillance.
Buried Barrett’s and Barrett’s cancer are seen in endotherapy naïve patients. This is likely to be related to intensive biopsies.
EMR, despite being a non ablation technique, still results in buried Barrett’s and Barrett’s cancer.
The overall prevalence of buried Barrett’s is higher than previously reported. We need to be aware of this while assessing Barrett’s patients.
ConclusionBuried Barrett’s glands after ablation (APC/RFA/PDT) are well reported.
This is the first study to report on the prevalence of Barrett’s in endotherapy naïve patients and in the post EMR cohort.
Disclosure of interest None Declared.