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Jornal Brasileiro de Patologia e Medicina Laboratorial

On-line version ISSN 1678-4774


MELO, Frederico Henrique C.; LIMA, Mário F. R. de  and  NOGUEIRA, Ana Margarida M. F.. Expression of sulphomucins and simple-mucin type carbohydrate in Barrett's esophagus. J. Bras. Patol. Med. Lab. [online]. 2007, vol.43, n.2, pp.133-139. ISSN 1678-4774.

BACKGROUND: The expression of sulphomucins and simple-mucin type carbohydrate antigens has been used as marker of malignant transformation in the gastrointestinal tract. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the expression of sulphomucins and simple-mucin type carbohydrate antigens (Tn, sTn T and sT) expression in Barrett's esophagus (BE) in order to identify potential lesions of increased risk to malignant transformation. METHODS: Biopsies of 50 cases of BE processed routinely were studied; diagnosis was performed in hematoxylin and eosin (HE) and periodic acid Schiff (PAS)/alcian blue stained sections. Additional sections were stained by high iron diamine for subtype intestinal metaplasia and by immunohistochemistry for Tn, sTn, T and sT antigens, whose expression was analyzed in the columnar and goblet cells of BE. RESULTS: BE was detected in only 47 cases stained by histochemistry and all of them had sulphomucin expression. Type III intestinal metaplasia was detected in 44 cases (93.6%); three had only type II, and type I was not observed. Tn antigen was expressed in columnar cells in 94% of the cases and sTn was expressed in goblet cells in 88% of them. T and sT were negative in 82% and in 87.8% of the cases, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: BE showed a homogeneous pattern of expression of sulphomucins and simple-mucin type carbohydrate antigens. BE was characterized as incomplete-type intestinal metaplasia with type III component together with Tn and sTn expression. According to these data, these markers are not useful to discriminate lesions with different potential of malignant transformation.

Keywords : Barrett esophagus; Intestinal metaplasia; Sulphomucins; Simple-mucin type carbohydrate antigens.

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