Pathology reports contain information about the patient, the tissue specimen being evaluated, and the final diagnosis.

Pathologists evaluate the tissue from esophageal biopsies to look for the following:

  1. Esophagitis: Inflammation of the esophagus can be seen with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other causes of esophageal injury. GERD is a risk factor for developing Barrett's esophagus.
  2. Barrett's esophagus: This condition is defined by replacement of the normal esophageal squamous epithelium by columnar cells and goblet cells, similar to those seen in the intestine.
  3. Dysplasia: This is a precancerous condition that can develop in Barrett's esophagus. Dysplasia can be classified as low-grade or high-grade. High-grade dysplasia has a higher risk of progression to cancer.
  4. Adenocarcinoma: This is a type of cancer that can develop in Barrett's with dysplasia.

Each patient’s biopsies are unique, and each patient’s pathology report is unique to that patient. Gastroenterologists and other physicians will use the information that the pathologists write in the pathology report to guide a patient’s individualized treatment plan.