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June 30, 1975

Endoscopic Brush Cytology in Esophageal Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the Gastroenterology Service, Department of Medicine (Drs. Winawer, Sherlock, and Belladonna), the Cytology Service, Department of Pathology (Dr. Melamed), and the Thoracic Service, Department of Surgery (Dr. Beattie), Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York.

JAMA. 1975;232(13):1358. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03250130042020

CYTOLOGIC specimens and biopsy specimens obtained by direct endoscopic visualization now provide improved sampling for accurate pathologic evaluation in patients with cancer of the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract.1-3

Materials and Results  Thirty consecutive patients with esophageal cancer are included in this article. All were examined with a forward-viewing upper gastrointestinal tract panendoscope. Multiple biopsy specimens, usually four, and brushings for cytology are obtained in all patients. A sheathed brush was used for the cytology specimens, and slides were prepared individually in 95% ethyl alcohol without air-drying, and processed with the standard Papanicolaou stain. Biopsy specimens were fixed in 10% buffered formalin.Of the 30 patients, 18 had neoplasms at the cardioesophageal junction associated with varying degrees of obstruction. The remainder had neoplasms distributed in the mid and upper parts of the esophagus. Twenty neoplasms were epidermoid, and ten were adenocarcinoma. One adenocarcinoma was in situ in Barrett