Barrett's Esophagus

Barrett's esophagus is a condition in which the esophagus, the muscular tube that carries food and saliva from the mouth to the stomach, changes so that some of its lining is replaced by a type of tissue similar to that normally found in the intestine. This process is called intestinal metaplasia.

While Barrett's esophagus may cause no symptoms itself, a small number of people with this condition develop a relatively rare but often deadly type of cancer of the esophagus called esophageal adenocarcinoma. Barrett's esophagus is estimated to affect about 700,000 adults in the United States. It is associated with the very common condition gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.

Modified from National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
by Bruce Greenwald M.D.


UMMC is a Pioneer in Treating Barrett's Esophagus

UMMC gastroenterologists have 15 years of experience in treating Barrett's esophagus and see a large volume of patients with this problem.

They work together with a multidisciplinary team of physicians--including thoracic surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, and pathologists-- to treat complicated cases.

In addition, the University of Maryland Medical Center was one of the first sites to pioneer endoscopic CryoSpray ablation, a technique that uses low pressure liquid nitrogen spray delivered through an upper endoscope to destroy abnormal esophageal tissue. The medical center remains a leading site for this technique for the treatment of Barrett's esophagus with high-grade dysplasia, early esophageal cancer, and other precancerous conditions of the esophagus.

For patient inquiries, call 1-800-492-5538 or If you prefer, you may call the division directly at 410-328-5780.