Next Generation Imaging in Barrett´s Esophagus – Pilot MRI Study

The PI of this project is: Jitka Starekova, MD

This project is funded by: Radiology RD

The term of this project is: April 2020 to August 2021

The number of subjects scanned during this project is: 30

Barrett´s Esophagus (BE) is a precancerous condition characterized by replacement of normal squamous epithelium in the lower esophagus by specialized glandular epithelium. BE is macroscopically visible as a salmon-red colored mucosa extending into healthy, pale esophageal mucosa. BE patients have a 30- to 125-fold higher risk to develop esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), a tumor that frequently seeds lymph node metastases and has the fastest rising occurrence rate for gastrointestinal tract (GIT) malignancy in the Western world. The diagnosis of EAC is often made much late and is associated with very poor prognosis. Evaluation for BE requires frequent endoscopy, an expensive and invasive procedure that requires sedation and a day off from work for both the patient and a caregiver. Non-invasive detection of BE or early stages of EAC with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has not been rigorously pursued. However, with the development of emerging imaging methods with higher spatial resolution and higher SNR performance, particularly at 3T, evaluation of the esophagus with MRI as an alternative method to endoscopy represents an important opportunity to address the limitations of current surveillance regimens.