Esophageal melanosis, an endoscopic finding associated with squamous cell neoplasms of the upper aerodigestive tract, and inactive aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 in alcoholic Japanese men

Akira Yokoyama, Tai Omori, Tetsuji Yokoyama, Yoichi Tanaka, Takeshi Mizukami, Sachio Matsushita, Susumu Higuchi, Hisao Takahashi, Katsuya Maruyama, Hiromasa Ishii, Toshifumi Hibi

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Abstract

Background. Esophageal melanosis is often observed in alcoholic Japanese men, in whom the prevalence of squamous cell dysplasia and carcinoma (SCC) in the upper aerodigestive tract are high. This study evaluated the associations of esophageal melanosis with these neoplasms, and the factors contributing to the development of esophageal melanosis in this population. Methods. Endoscopic screening was combined with esophageal iodine staining in 1535 alcoholic Japanese men (aged 40-79 years), of whom 1007 underwent aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 (ALDH2) genotyping. Results. Fifty patients (3.3%) were diagnosed with esophageal melanosis, which had a higher incidence in those with noncancerous distinct iodine-unstained lesions (DIULs; 16/268; 6.0%), esophageal SCC (9/66; 13.6%), and oropharyngolaryngeal SCC (4/19; 21.1%) than in cancer- and DIUL-free controls (24/1182; 2.0%). The presence of esophageal melanosis was associated with higher risks for noncancerous DIULs, esophageal SCC, and oropharyngolaryngeal SCC (odds ratios, 2.81, 6.54, and 14.77, respectively). Men with the inactive ALDH2*1/ 2*2 genotype had a higher risk for esophageal melanosis (2.66-fold), as well as for DIULs and SCCs. Conclusions. The presence of esophageal melanosis in alcoholic Japanese men could indicate a high risk for DIULs and SCCs in the upper aerodigestive tract. The high incidence of esophageal melanosis may be partially linked to high acetaldehyde exposure, a consequence of drinking alcohol in persons with inactive ALDH2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)676-684
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of gastroenterology
Volume40
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jul 1

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Keywords

  • Alcoholism
  • Aldehyde dehydrogenase-2
  • Cancer
  • Esophagus
  • Melanosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

Yokoyama, A., Omori, T., Yokoyama, T., Tanaka, Y., Mizukami, T., Matsushita, S., Higuchi, S., Takahashi, H., Maruyama, K., Ishii, H., & Hibi, T. (2005). Esophageal melanosis, an endoscopic finding associated with squamous cell neoplasms of the upper aerodigestive tract, and inactive aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 in alcoholic Japanese men. Journal of gastroenterology, 40(7), 676-684. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00535-005-1610-3