Improved Progression Prediction in Barrett's Esophagus with Low-grade Dysplasia Using Specific Histologic Criteria
American Journal of Surgical Pathology , Volume 42 - Issue 7 p. 918- 926
Risk stratification of patients with Barrett's esophagus (BE) is based on diagnosis of low-grade dysplasia (LGD). LGD has a poor interobserver agreement and a limited value for prediction of progression to high-grade dysplasia or esophageal adenocarcinoma. Specific reproducible histologic criteria may improve the predictive value of LGD. Four gastrointestinal pathologists examined 12 histologic criteria associated with LGD in 84 BE patients with LGD (15 progressors and 69 nonprogressors). The criteria with at least a moderate (kappa, 0.4 to 0.6) interobserver agreement were validated in an independent cohort of 98 BE patients with LGD (30 progressors and 68 nonprogressors). Hazard ratios (HR) were calculated by Cox proportional hazard regression analysis using time-dependent covariates correcting for multiple endoscopies during follow-up. Agreement was moderate or good for 4 criteria, that is, loss of maturation, mucin depletion, nuclear enlargement, and increase of mitosis. Combination of the criteria differentiated high-risk and low-risk group amongst patients with LGD diagnosis (P<0.001). When ≥2 criteria were present, a significantly higher progression rate to high-grade dysplasia or esophageal adenocarcinoma was observed (discovery set: HR, 5.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.81-17; P=0.002; validation set: HR, 3.52; 95% CI, 1.56-7.97; P=0.003). Implementation of p53 immunohistochemistry and histologic criteria optimized the prediction of progression (area under the curve, 0.768; 95% CI, 0.656-0.881). We identified and validated a clinically applicable panel of 4 histologic criteria, segregating BE patients with LGD diagnosis into defined prognostic groups. This histologic panel can be used to improve clinical decision making, although additional studies are warranted.