Intestinal Metaplasia in the Esophageal Remnant Is Rare After Ivor Lewis Esophagectomy

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Background: Most patients undergoing esophagectomy will experience intermittent reflux of gastric and biliary content into the remnant esophagus postoperatively. The incidence of new or recurrent intestinal metaplasia following chemoradiation and surgery has not been well-described. Furthermore, post-resection guidelines do not exist regarding surveillance for metaplasia in the esophageal remnant. Methods: Patients undergoing Ivor Lewis esophagectomy after concurrent chemoradiation for a diagnosis of esophageal adenocarcinoma from 2006 to 2018 were identified. Pathology records were reviewed for the presence of intestinal metaplasia on pretreatment biopsies, surgical specimen, or post-resection biopsies. Results: In total, 619 patients met inclusion criteria, including 267 (43%) who had intestinal metaplasia noted either prior to or at the time of esophagectomy. The median duration of metaplastic disease prior to resection was 4.4 months. During a median follow-up time of 28 months (interquartile range, 12–60), intestinal metaplasia was noted in the remnant esophagus in 12 (2%) patients, 7 of whom had a prior history of metaplasia. Local recurrence of adenocarcinoma was also uncommon, and occurred in 37/577 (6%) of patients with complete resections, with similar event rates among those with and without a prior history of metaplasia (14/249 [6%] vs. 23/328 [7%], p = 0.614). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that despite several factors predisposing to mucosal damage following esophagectomy, occurrence of new intestinal metaplasia after trimodality therapy in our patient population appears to be rare, even among patient with a previous history of this pathologic finding, which may have significant implications for surveillance and cost-savings after resection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2185-2191
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Esophagogastoduodenoscopy
  • Esophagoscopy
  • Intestinal metaplasia
  • Ivor Lewis esophagectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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