Although the pathogenesis of cervical inlet patch (CIP) is not fully understood, most authors consider it as a congenital abnormality, whereas others surmise it to be related to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). We aimed to evaluate esophageal function and the prevalence of GERD and Barrett's esophagus in patients with CIP. GERD is defined by the presence of erosive esophagitis or an abnormal pH monitoring. Seventy-one consecutive patients with endoscopic and histological evidence of CIP were prospectively evaluated. Esophageal symptom analysis, 24-hour simultaneous biliary reflux and double-channel pH-monitoring, and esophageal manometry were carried out in 65/71 (92%) patients and in 25 matched controls. Six patients were not suitable for testing and were, therefore, excluded. The histological evaluation of the heterotopic islands showed cardia and/or oxyntic mucosa in 64/65 (98%) patients and specialized intestinal metaplasia (SIM) in one patient (2%). The cardia and/or oxyntic mucosa was accompanied by focally appearing pancreatic acinar metaplasia and pancreatic ductal metaplasia in 7/64 (11%) and in 1/64 (2%), superficial mucous glands in 6/64 (9%), and SIM in 2/64 (3%) cases. In total, SIM was present in three patients (5%), and one of them had low-grade dysplasia. At the gastroesophageal junction, 28 (43%) patients had columnar metaplasia, including nine (14%) patients with SIM. Erosive esophagitis was present in 37 (57%) cases. Thirty-two patients (49%) had abnormal acid reflux in the distal and 25 (38%) in the proximal esophagus. Abnormal biliary reflux was present in 25 (38%) cases. On the basis of endoscopic and pH studies, GERD was established in 44/65 (68%) patients. Typical reflux symptoms were common (33/65, 51%). The combined 24-hour biliary and double-channel pH-monitoring detected significantly more significant acidic reflux at both measurement points and significantly longer bile exposure time in the distal esophagus in patients with CIP. Acid secretion in the CIP was detected in three (5%) cases. Esophageal manometry revealed decreased LES pressure and prolonged relaxation with decreased peristaltic wave amplitude, and an increased number of simultaneous contractions in the esophageal body. The detailed evaluation of the esophageal morphology and function in subjects with CIP showed a high prevalence of GERD and Barrett's esophagus. Further studies are needed to evaluate whether combined acidic and biliary reflux is able to promote similar histomorphological changes in the CIP, as it is shown distally in patients with Barrett's esophagus.
- Barrett's esophagus
- Cervical inlet patch
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas