There are different types or “grades” of Barrett’s esophagus, according to biopsy and microscopic findings. These “grades” include: intestinal metaplasia (IM) without dysplasia, IM with low-grade dysplasia, and IM with high-grade dysplasia.
“Dysplasia” refers to inherent 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. Ultimately, higher grades of dysplasia may be considered cancer if there are signs of tissue invasion.
|Intestinal Metaplasia (IM) - The tissue cells have begun to change genetically and the tissue resembles the red intestinal lining rather than the normal and healthy pink esophagus lining. At this stage, a person has Barrett’s esophagus, but has not developed Dysplasia.|
|Low-grade Dysplasia (LGD IM) – Less than 50% of the abnormal cells have begun to change in size, shape, or organization and may show an increase in their growth rate. The cells are contained within the lining of the esophagus and have not spread to other areas.|
|High-grade Dysplasia (HGD IM) – As with LGD IM, the abnormal cells reside within the lining of the esophagus. But more than 50% of these cells do demonstrate a higher increase in abnormal growth rate and pattern.|
Adenocarcinoma (Esophageal Cancer) – When the abnormal cells have a rapid and uncontrolled growth rate. The cells also invade the deeper layers of your esophagus and may spread beyond that. These cells can develop into malignant tumors. Adenocarcinoma can also be classified in different stages or categories. Contact your physician for more information.