Effects of Central Obesity on Esophageal Epithelial Barrier Function

Ying Y. Gibbens, Ramona Lansing, Michele L. Johnson, Christopher H. Blevins, David A. Katzka, Prasad G. Iyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION:We assessed if obesity perturbs the esophageal epithelial barrier function independent of promotion of gastroesophageal reflux (GER).METHODS:Thirty-eight participants were divided into 4 groups: Obesity-/GER-, Obesity+/GER-, Obesity-/GER+, and Obesity+/GER+. Esophageal intercellular space and desmosome density (structural integrity) and fluorescein leak (functional integrity) were measured.RESULTS:The Obesity+/GER- group demonstrated increased intercellular space, reduced desmosome density, and increased fluorescein leak compared with control subjects. These changes were similar but not additive to findings seen in Obesity-/GER + and Obesity+/GER+ patients.DISCUSSION:Central obesity impairs structural and functional integrity of the esophageal barrier independent of GER, likely predisposing to esophageal injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1537-1541
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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