Cytokeratin and CDX-2 expression in Barrett's esophagus

Jantine W.P.M. Van Baal*, Andreas Bozikas, Rick Pronk, Fibo J.W.Ten Kate, Francesca Milano, Agnieszka M. Rygiel, Wilda D. Rosmolen, Maikel P. Peppelenbosch, Jacques J.G.H.M. Bergman, Kausilia K. Krishnadath

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. Barrett's esophagus (BE) is a premalignant condition of the distal esophagus. For diagnostic purposes it is important to find biomarkers that can specifically identify BE, for instance to differentiate BE epithelial cells from gastric cardia epithelial cells in brush cytology specimens. The objective of this study was to determine the specificity of CDX-2 and a set of cytokeratins (CKs) as specific markers for BE as compared with normal squamous esophageal and gastric cardia tissue. Material and methods. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) with specific antibodies against CDX-2, and a set of CKs was performed on fresh frozen consecutive tissue sections of normal squamous, gastric cardia and non-dysplastic BE of 80 patients. Results. IHC results showed CK8, CK18 and CK20 expression in both BE and gastric cardia, while CK7 was seen in all BE but also in 26% of gastric cardia biopsies. CK10/13 was only expressed in normal squamous epithelium. CDX-2 nuclear staining was found in 87.5% of the BE biopsies, whereas normal squamous esophagus and cardia biopsies were negative. Conclusions. CDX-2 in combination with a set of CKs can be used as biomarkers to distinguish between BE and normal squamous esophagus. In order to distinguish BE from cardia tissue, a combination of CDX-2 and CK7 is most informative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-140
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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