BackgroundBarrett’s esophagus with specialized intestinal metaplasia (SIM), which is at high risk of progressing to esophageal adenocarcinoma, has been identified by obtaining biopsy specimens randomly. Magnified endoscopy with narrow band imaging (ME-NBI) is reported to be useful for detecting SIM or the intestinal phenotype. We aimed to evaluate the usefulness of endoscopic brushing followed by ME-NBI for the detection of the intestinal phenotype.MethodsBiopsy and brushing samples were taken following endoscopic observation by ME-NBI. Total RNA was extracted from the whole sample and microdissected samples, and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of SHH, CDX2, and mucin mRNA expression was performed.ResultsFifty patients (32 men, 18 women, average age 67.3 years) with metaplastic columnar epithelium of the lower esophagus were studied. MUC2 (85 vs. 65 %) and CDX2 (95 vs. 75 %) were detected more frequently in the brushing samples than in the biopsy samples. MUC2 expression levels were significantly higher in the brushing samples than those in the biopsy samples. CDX2 and MUC2 expression levels in the brushing samples were significantly higher in the mucosa with tubular/villous pattern observed by ME-NBI than the levels in mucosae with other patterns.ConclusionsEndoscopic brushing in mucosa of columnar epithelium with a tubular/villous pattern visualized by ME-NBI is useful to detect the intestinal phenotype.