Risk of Neoplastic Progression Among Patients with an Irregular Z Line on Long-Term Follow-Up

David Itskoviz, Zohar Levi, Doron Boltin, Alex Vilkin, Yifat Snir, Rachel Gingold-Belfer, Yaron Niv, Iris Dotan, Ram Dickman

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13 Scopus citations


Background: Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is a known complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease. In a previous study, we described a high prevalence of intestinal metaplasia (IM) in patients with an irregular Z line. However, the clinical importance of this finding is unclear. Goals: To evaluate the long-term development of BE and relevant complications in patients diagnosed with an irregular Z line, with or without IM, on routine esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy (EGD). Methods: In our previously described cohort, 166 out of 2000 consecutive patients were diagnosed with an incidental irregular Z line. Of those with irregular Z line, 43% had IM. In this continuation study, patients’ status was reassessed after a median follow-up of 70 months. Patients were divided into two groups: Patients with IM (IM-positive group) and without IM (IM-negative group). The incidence of long-term development of BE, dysplasia, and esophageal adenocarcinoma were compared between groups. Results: At least one follow-up EGD was performed in 102 (61%) patients with an irregular Z line. Endoscopic evidence of BE was found in eight IM-positive patients (8/50 [16%]) and in one IM-negative patient (1/52 [1.9%]). Two (4%) IM-positive patients developed BE with low-grade dysplasia. None of the patients developed high-grade dysplasia, or esophageal adenocarcinoma. Conclusions: Patients with irregular Z line do not develop major BE complication in more than 5 years of follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1513-1517
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Dysplasia
  • Esophageal carcinoma
  • Irregular Z line


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