Findings reveal a
long segment irregular stricture, with a linear barium streak extending
outside the lumen of the mid-dorsal esophagus posteriorly. CT reveals
a strictured esophagus (circumferential lesion), with a posterior mediastinal
collection. A small right pleural effusion is also noted.
Cancer of the esophagus remains a devastating disease because it is usually
not detected until it has progressed to an advanced incurable stage. Modern
imaging techniques, including barium esophagraphy, contrast-enhanced computed
tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), endoscopic ultrasonography
(EUS), and positron-emission tomography (PET), are powerful tools in the
detection, diagnosis, and staging of this malignancy. Early detection
remains the elusive but essential goal of research. Only surgical resection
at a very early stage has been shown to improve survival rates in patients
with this disease.
Dr. Sanjeev Mani, Bandra Holy Family Hospital, Mumbai