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Types of Barrett's Esophagus

There are three types of Barrett's esophagus. From the least serious (IM) to the most serious (HGD IM), they are:



Intestinal Metaplasia (IM)

The normal lining of the esophagus has been injured repeatedly and ultimately replaced with an intestinal lining. The tissue resembles red intestinal lining rather than the normal pink lining of the esophagus.

Low-grade Dysplasia (LGD)

With accumulation of injury and genetic changes, the IM lining becomes distorted architecturally. The cells are larger than the cells in IM and the pattern is abnormal.

High-grade Dysplasia (HGD)

As injury and genetic changes progress, these cells are very disorganized, large, and multilayered. This is akin to cancer that is limited to the thin lining of the esophagus and is thus the most severe form of Barrett's.

"Dysplasia" refers to abnormalities of a tissue or cell that make it more cancer-like and disorganized. While the presence of dysplasia may raise the risk of cancer, it is not considered cancer. 2, 16

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