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Barrett Esophagus: A Sequela of Chemotherapy

Stuart Jon Spechler, MD
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Requests for Reprints: Stuart Jon Spechler, MD, Gastroenterology Division, Beth Israel Hospital, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215.

Beth Israel Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA 02215

Ann Intern Med. 1991;114(3):243-244. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-114-3-243
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In the 1950s, the British surgeon Norman Barrett called attention to a peculiar condition in which the distal esophagus is lined by columnar mucosa rather than by squamous epithelium (1). Barrett originally deemed this a congenital disorder, but authorities now consider the columnar cell-lined (Barrett) esophagus an acquired condition (2). Barrett esophagus has been thought to develop as a result of severe gastroesophageal reflux disease in most cases. In this issue of Annals, Sartori and colleagues (3) present compelling evidence that Barrett epithelium can also be acquired as a sequela of chemotherapy. This observation has important implications regarding the pathogenesis


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