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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 3, Issue 5, Pages 185-188
Clinical Gastroenterology

Peanut Lectin Histochemistry of Barrett’s Esophagus

Hugh J. Freeman

Department of Medicine, University Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Received 7 May 1989; Accepted 4 August 1989

Copyright © 1989 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Barrett’s epithelium refers to the replacement of the normal stratified squamous epithelium with columnar epithelial cells, possibly as a consequence of chronic reflux of gastric content into the esophagus, and is thought to be a pre-neoplastic disorder with the later development of esophageal adenocarcinoma. In this study, biopsy specimens from patients with Barrett’s esophagus were examined with fluorescein-linked peanut lectin to determine if lectin reactivity, indicative of a previously reported colon cancer-associated mucin in colonic polyps, was present in the columnar lined esophagus. In all of the patients studied, positive but variable labelling with this lectin was present, providing additional evidence that Barrett’s epithelium represents a heterogeneous preneoplastic change of the esophagus.