Objective Reported malignant progression rates for low-grade dysplasia (LGD) in Barrett's oesophagus (BO) vary widely. Expert histological review of LGD is advised, but limited data are available on its clinical value. This retrospective cohort study aimed to determine the value of an expert pathology panel organised in the Dutch Barrett's Advisory Committee (BAC) by investigating the incidence rates of high-grade dysplasia (HGD) and oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC) after expert histological review of LGD. Design We included all BO cases referred to the BAC for histological review of LGD diagnosed between 2000 and 2011. The diagnosis of the expert panel was related to the histological outcome during endoscopic follow-up. Primary endpoint was development of HGD or OAC. Results 293 LGD patients (76% men; mean 63 years ±11.9) were included. Following histological review, 73% was downstaged to non-dysplastic BO (NDBO) or indefinite for dysplasia (IND). In 27% the initial LGD diagnosis was confirmed. Endoscopic follow-up was performed in 264 patients (90%) with a median followup of 39 months (IQR 16-72). For confirmed LGD, the risk of HGD/OAC was 9.1% per patient-year. Patients downstaged to NDBO or IND had a malignant progression risk of 0.6% and 0.9% per patient-year, respectively. Conclusions Confirmed LGD in BO has a markedly increased risk of malignant progression. However, the vast majority of patients with community LGD will be downstaged after expert review and have a low progression risk. Therefore, all BO patients with LGD should undergo expert histological review of the diagnosis for adequate risk stratification.
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