Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.


Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Barrett syndrome


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • Barrett esophagus
  • Barrett ulcer
  • Chronic peptic ulcer and esophagitis syndrome
  • Columnar-like esophagus
  • Esophagitis-peptic ulcer
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.


Barrett syndrome, also known as Barrett esophagus, is a disorder in which the lining of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach) is replaced by tissue that is similar to the lining of the intestine. This process is called intestinal metaplasia.[1] The exact cause of Barrett syndrome is not known, but gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a risk factor for the condition.[1] While Barrett syndrome itself does not cause symptoms, the acid reflux associated with GERD often leads to symptoms of heartburn.[2]  Less than 1% of people with Barrett syndrome develop a rare type of cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma.[1] Treatment of GERD should improve symptoms, and may keep Barrett syndrome from getting worse.[2] Endoscopic or surgical treatments can be used to treat Barrett syndrome with severe dysplasia or cancer.[1]

Last updated: 3/5/2010


  1. Barrett's Esophagus. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). 2008; Accessed 3/4/2010.
  2. Longstreth GF. Barrett's esophagus. MedlinePlus. 2009; Accessed 3/4/2010.
Your Questions Answered
by the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

1 question(s) from the public on Barrett syndrome have been answered. See questions and answers. You can also submit a new question.

Basic Information

  • provides information about Barrett syndrome.
  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC), part of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), offers information on this condition. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference has 2 articles on this topic from the perspective of Gastroenterology and Radiology. You may need to register to view the information online, but registration is free.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Barrett syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.