Barrett's esophagus differential diagnosis

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Amresh Kumar MD [2]


Barrett's esophagus must be differentiated from esophagitis, peptic ulcer disease, GERD, esophageal carcinoma and esophageal motor disorders.

Differentiating Barrett's Esophagus from other Diseases

Barrett's esophagus should be differentiated from the following diseases;

Disease Signs and Symptoms Barium esophagogram Endoscopy Other imaging and laboratory findings Gold Standard
Onset Dysphagia Weight loss Heartburn Other findings Mental status
Solids Liquids Type
Barrett's esophagus Gradual + - Progressive +/- + GERD Symptoms Normal
  • The esophageal lining appears pink or red and velvety. 
  • No any other test is done to diagnose Barrett's esophagus
Eosinophilic esophagitis Gradual + Progressive +/- +/- Normal
Esophageal carcinoma
  • Gradual
+ + Progressive + +/- Normal
Case courtesy of Dr Bruno Di Muzio,, rID: 4232f
Motor disorders

(Myasthenia gravis)

  • Gradual
+ + Progressive +/- - Normal
  • Gradual
  • Sudden onset
+ - Progressive +/- + Normal


  1. Moayyedi P, Talley NJ (2006). "Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease". Lancet. 367 (9528): 2086–100. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68932-0. PMID 16798392. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  3. Badillo R, Francis D (2014). "Diagnosis and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease". World J Gastrointest Pharmacol Ther. 5 (3): 105–12. doi:10.4292/wjgpt.v5.i3.105. PMC 4133436. PMID 25133039.
  4. Saenko VF, Tutchenko NI, Kurilets IP, Deĭneka SV, Malinin VV (1985). "[Diagnosis and surgical treatment of nonepithelial stomach tumors]". Klin Khir (5): 11–5. PMID 4021327.

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