Significance of routine annual esophagram for early detection of carcinoma of the esophagus

Shinji Ohno, Akira Kabashima, Masaaki Tomoda, Masaru Morita, Yoshihiro Kakeji, Kaoru Kitamura, Hiroyuki Kuwano, Yoshihiko Maehara, Keizo Sugimachi

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background/Aims: In order to achieve increased survival rates for patients with carcinoma of the esophagus, early detection of the disease is vital. Serial esophagrams were evaluated to clarify which interval would be effective for early detection of carcinoma of the esophagus during routine examination. Materials and Methods: One hundred eighty-nine patients with carcinoma of the esophagus were grouped into three, according to the experience and the time of the previous roentgenograms before the definite diagnosis. Results: Five patients were in Group 1, in which roentgenographic examination had been done within 12 months prior to the diagnosis. Retrospective observation revealed a slight but certain, abnormal shadow at the same location as the esophageal tumor seen on the second films. In Group 2, seven had received an esophagram between 12 and 24 months before the diagnosis. In contrast to Group 1, neither abnormality nor findings indicating esophageal tumors were detected on the former x-ray films, in all seven cases. Group 2 was characterized by relatively small tumors and low stage of the disease. Mean tumor length was 4.1 ± 2.9 cm, and three of seven were classified as Stage I and two as Stage IIA. On. the other hand, most of the 177 patients in Group 3, with no previous examination of the esophagus within 24 months before the diagnosis, had far advanced disease. Mean tumor length was 6.3 ± 2.6 cm. Only nine (5.1%) were classified as Stage I, whereas 115 (65.0%) were classified as Stage III or N. Conclusion: In light of these data, for populations in which esophageal cancer frequently occurs, esophageal examination every 12 months will no doubt contribute towards the early detection of lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-545
Number of pages7
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - May 3 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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