We aim to determine the incidence of esophagogastroduodenoscopies (EGDs) primarily performed for imaging findings of distal esophageal thickening (DET). We also aim to determine if patients with imaging findings of DET have a higher incidence of cancer, and to evaluate the risk factors associated with findings of malignancy.
The growth of diagnostic imaging has led to an increase in incidental findings of DET. This nonspecific finding frequently prompts an EGD for evaluation—many of which demonstrate benign conditions. There may be a misuse of valuable resources.
We performed a retrospective chart review of 1080 EGDs from January 2016 to July 2018 at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, comparing EGDs for the indication of imaging report of DET with EGDs for other indications. Patient demographics, clinical history, imaging, procedure, and pathology reports were collected. Descriptive analysis and biostatistical analysis with χ2, Fisher exact, Wilcoxon rank sum, and Kruskal-Wallis tests were utilized in analyzing the data.
Of the 1080 total endoscopies, 8.2% (n=88) were done specifically because of the imaging findings of DET. Those who had EGDs performed because of DET had a higher percentage of abnormal esophageal findings and of cancer. A history of Barrett’s esophagus, tobacco use, and having gastrointestinal symptoms were not significant predictors of abnormal findings or of cancer for EGDs done for DET.
There may be a role for EGDs performed for radiologic findings of DET. Even those without risk factors for malignancy should have EGDs performed for DET. Radiologists should consider reporting the DET size in order to determine if significant endoscopic findings correlate with wall thickness.