Is cytokeratin immunoreactivity useful in the diagnosis of short-segment Barrett's oesophagus in Korea?

Hyung Joon Yim, Sang Woo Lee, Rok Son Choung, Young Sun Kim, Jin Yong Kim, Hong Sik Lee, Chi Wook Song, Jai Hyun Choi, Young-Tae Bak, Ho Sang Ryu, Jin Hai Hyun, Dae Soo Kim, Chul Hwan Kim

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Background: Cytokeratin 7/20 staining has been reported to be helpful in diagnosing Barrett's oesophagus and gastric intestinal metaplasia. However, this is still a matter of some controversy. Objective: To determine the diagnostic usefulness of cytokeratin 7/20 immunostaining for short-segment Barrett's oesophagus in Korea. Methods: In patients with Barrett's oesophagus, diagnosed endoscopically, at least two biopsy specimens were taken from just below the squamocolumnar junction. If goblet cells were found histologically with alcian blue staining, cytokeratin 7/20 immunohistochemical stains were performed. Intestinal metaplasia at the cardia was diagnosed whenever biopsy specimens taken from within 2 cm below the oesophagogastric junction revealed intestinal metaplasia. Barrett's cytokeratin 7/20 pattern was defined as cytokeratin 20 positivity in only the superficial gland, combined with cytokeratin 7 positivity in both the superficial and deep glands. Results: Barrett's cytokeratin 7/20 pattern was observed in 28 out of 36 cases (77.8%) with short-segment Barrett's oesophagus, 11 out of 28 cases (39.3%) with intestinal metaplasia at the cardia, and nine out of 61 cases (14.8%) with gastric intestinal metaplasia. The sensitivity and specificity of Barrett's cytokeratin 7/20 pattern were 77.8 and 77.5%, respectively. Conclusion: Barrett's cytokeratin 7/20 pattern can be a useful marker for the diagnosis of short-segment Barrett's oesophagus, although the false positive or false negative rate is approximately 25%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-616
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jun 1



  • Barrett's oesophagus
  • Intestinal metaplasia
  • Keratin
  • Stomach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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