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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 639748, 8 pages
Clinical Study

Ki-67 Antigen Overexpression Is Associated with the Metaplasia-Adenocarcinoma Sequence in Barrett's Esophagus

Department of Surgery, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, School of Medicine, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, 90035-903 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil

Received 24 April 2012; Accepted 26 May 2012

Academic Editor: Jin-Lian Chen

Copyright © 2012 Bernardo Silveira Volkweis et al. 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.


Introduction. The objective of this study was to evaluate Ki-67 antigen expression in patients with Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma and to assess its correlation with the metaplasia-esophageal adenocarcinoma progression. Methods. Using immunohistochemistry we evaluated the Ki-67 index in patients with Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal adenocarcinoma, and controls. We included patients with endoscopically visible columnar mucosa of the distal esophagus (whose biopsies revealed specialized intestinal-type metaplasia), patients with esophageal and esophagogastric tumors types I and II, and patients with histologically normal gastric mucosa (control). Results. In the 57 patients studied there were no statistically significant differences between the groups with respect to age or race. Patients with cancer were predominantly men. The Ki-67 index averaged % in patients with normal gastric mucosa ( ), % in patients with Barrett’s esophagus ( ), and % in patients with cancer ( ). Ki-67 expression was significantly different between all groups ( ). There was a strong linear correlation between Ki-67 expression and the metaplasia-adenocarcinoma sequence ( ). In patients with cancer, Ki-67 was not associated with clinical or surgical staging. Conclusions. Ki-67 antigen has increased expression along the metaplasia-adenocarcinoma sequence. There is a strong linear correlation between Ki-67 proliferative activity and Barrett’s carcinogenesis.