Recommendations for endoscopic surveillance after esophageal atresia repair in adults

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BACKGROUND: Endoscopic surveillance of adults with esophageal atresia is advocated, but the optimal surveillance strategy remains uncertain. This study aimed to provide recommendations on appropriate starting age and intervals of endoscopic surveillance in adults with esophageal atresia.

METHODS: Participants underwent standardized upper endoscopies with biopsies. Surveillance intervals of 3-5 years were applied, depending on age and histopathological results. Patient's age and time to development of (pre)malignant lesions were calculated.

RESULTS: A total of 271 patients with esophageal atresia (55% male; median age at baseline endoscopy 26.7 (range 15.6-68.5) years; colon interposition n = 17) were included. Barrett's esophagus was found in 19 (7%) patients (median age 32.3 (17.8-56.0) years at diagnosis). Youngest patient with a clinically relevant Barrett's esophagus was 20.9 years. Follow-up endoscopies were performed in 108 patients (40%; median follow-up time 4.6 years). During surveillance, four patients developed Barrett's esophagus but no dysplasia or cancer was found. One 45-year-old woman with a colon interposition developed an adenoma with high-grade dysplasia which was radically removed. Two new cases of esophageal carcinoma were diagnosed in patients (55 and 66 years old) who were not under surveillance. One of them had been curatively treated for esophageal carcinoma 13 years ago.

CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that endoscopic screening of patients with esophageal atresia, including those with a colon interposition, can be started at 20 years of age. Up to the age of 40 years a surveillance interval of 10 years appeared to be safe. Endoscopic surveillance may also be warranted for patients after curative esophageal cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdoab095
JournalDiseases of the esophagus : official journal of the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

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© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:


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