Esophageal Metaplasia and Neoplasia

Esophageal cancer accounts for a jaw-dropping amount of cancer-related deaths, and is now classified as the 6th-highest cause of death in this group.  In this installment of the study guide series, I will discuss Barrett Esophagus (I learned this entity as Barrett Metaplasia) and esophageal cancer (neoplasia).   Barrett Metaplasia Metaplasia:  columnar epithelium replaces the physiologic squamous epithelium…

Esophageal Motility and Esophagitis

Motility Disorders and Esophagitis are must-know esophageal pathologies are NOT inherently malignant (cancerous), but may be associated with increased risk for malignancy.     Motility Disorders Achalasia – failure of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to relax. Pathophysiology:  ganglion cell and myenteric plexus breakdown, cholinergic nerve predominance leading to persistent contraction of muscle. Cancer risk:  squamous…

Introduction to Esophageal Problems

The very first entry in my GI & Hepatology study outline series will set the stage/define major descriptors of proximal GI (esophageal) symptoms and help with categorizing pathology. Dysphagia = the sensation that food and/or liquid is not appropriately going through the mouth/throat/esophagus.  Typical symptoms:  “food is getting stuck / impeded.” Oropharyngeal phase – food bolus…