The purpose of our study was to determine the accuracy of double-contrast barium studies and endoscopy for detecting reflux esophagitis, using the endoscopic biopsy findings as the gold standard. A review of radiology, endoscopy, and pathology files showed 37 patients with reflux symptoms who underwent double-contrast barium studies and endoscopy with biopsy specimens from the esophagus. The radiographic images were reviewed in a blinded fashion and correlated with the endoscopic and histologic findings to determine the radiographic and endoscopic accuracies for detecting reflux esophagitis, using the endoscopic biopsy specimens as the gold standard. Double-contrast barium studies and endoscopy had low but comparable accuracies for detecting reflux esophagitis, with sensitivities of 35% and 39%, specificities of 79% and 71%, positive predictive values of 73% and 69%, and negative predictive values of 42% and 41%, respectively. When mucosa granularity was evaluated as an individual sign of esophagitis on double-contrast studies, this finding had a sensitivity of 35%, a specificity of 93%, a positive predictive value of 89%, and a negative predictive value of 46% for detecting reflux esophagitis. Our experience suggests that double-contrast barium studies and endoscopy have limited ability to detect reflux esophagitis, in particular mild esophagitis, when using the histologic findings as the gold standard. When radiographic abnormalities are detected, however, mucosal granularity is the single best sign of reflux esophagitis on double-contrast studies.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Relux esophagitis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging