Barrett's Oesophagus Surveillance


If any of the following are present or suspected, please refer the patient to the emergency department (via ambulance if necessary) or seek emergent medical advice if in a remote region.

  •  Potentially life threatening symptoms suggestive of:
    • acute upper GI tract bleeding

    • acute severe lower GI tract bleeding

    • oesophageal foreign bodies/food bolus

    • Acute Severe Colitis*

    • bowel obstruction

    • abdominal sepsis

  • Severe vomiting and/or diarrhoea with dehydration

  • Acute/fulminant liver failure (to be referred to a centre with dedicated hepatology services

  • Biliary sepsis (to be referred to a centre with ERCP service)


* Acute severe colitis as defined by the Truelove and Witts criteria – all patients with ≥ 6 bloody bowel motions per 24 hours plus at least one of the following:

  • temperature at presentation of > 37.8°C,
  • pulse rate at presentation of > 90 bpm,
  • haemoglobin at presentation of < 105 gm/l, CRP >20mg/dl at presentation (or ESR > 30 mm/hr)

Australian clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of Barrett's oesophagus and early oesophageal adenocarcinoma (2015) recommended screening endoscopy schedules

No dysplasia on endoscopic assessment and Seattle protocol biopsy

Short (< 3 cm) segment – repeat endoscopy in 3–5 years

Long (≥ 3 cm) segment – repeat endoscopy in 2–3 years

If there has been previous low-grade dysplasia, see low-grade dysplasia protocol.

Seattle protocol—biopsy of any mucosal irregularity and quadrantic biopsies every 2 cm unless known or suspected dysplasia then quadrantic biopsies every 1 cm.


Indefinite for dysplasia on biopsy
The changes of indefinite for dysplasia on biopsy should be confirmed by a second pathologist, ideally an expert gastrointestinal pathologist. If indefinite for dysplasia is confirmed, then the following endoscopic surveillance is recommended:

  • Repeat endoscopy in 6 months with Seattle protocol biopsies for suspected dysplasia (biopsy of any mucosal irregularity and quadrantic biopsies every 1 cm) on maximal acid suppression
  • If repeat shows no dysplasia, then follow as per non-dysplastic protocol
  • If repeat shows low-grade or high-grade dysplasia or adenocarcinoma, then follow protocols for these respective conditions
  • If repeat again shows confirmed indefinite for dysplasia, then repeat endoscopy in 6 months with Seattle protocol biopsies for suspected dysplasia.

Low-grade dysplasia on biopsy
The changes of low-grade dysplasia on biopsy should be confirmed by a second pathologist, ideally an expert gastrointestinal pathologist. If low-grade dysplasia is confirmed, then the following endoscopic surveillance is recommended (or refer to an expert centre for assessment):


  • Repeat endoscopy every 6 months with Seattle protocol biopsies for dysplasia (biopsy of any mucosal irregularity and quadrantic biopsies every 1 cm.
  • If 2 consecutive 6-monthly endoscopies with Seattle dysplasia biopsy protocol show no dysplasia, then consider reverting to a less frequent follow up schedule.

High-grade dysplasia or adenocarcinoma on biopsy
Referral to a centre that has integrated expertise in endoscopy, imaging, surgery and histopathology

Minimum Referral Criteria

Does your patient meet the minimum referral criteria?

Category 1
(appointment within 30 calendar days)

If you feel your patient meets Category 1 criteria, please mark "urgent" on your referral

  • No category 1 criteria (see Guidelines above)
Category 2
(appointment within 90 calendar days)
  • No category 2 criteria (see Guidelines above)
Category 3
(appointment within 365 calendar days)
  • No category 3 criteria (see Guidelines above)

If your patient does not meet the minimum referral criteria

  • Consider other treatment pathways or an alternative diagnosis
  • If you still need to refer your patient:
    • Please explain why (e.g. warning signs or symptoms, clinical modifiers, uncertain about diagnosis, etc.)
    • Please note that your referral may not be accepted or may be redirected to another service
Standard Referral Information

Patient's Demographic Details

  • Full name (including aliases)
  • Date and country of birth
  • Residential and postal address including whether patient resides at an aged care facility
  • Telephone contact number/s – home, mobile and alternative
  • Medicare number (where eligible)
  • Name of the parent or caregiver (if appropriate)
  • Name of delegate and contact details (Department of Corrective Services)
  • Preferred language and interpreter requirements
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • Any special needs, access requirements and/or disability relevant to the referral

Referring Practitioner Details

  • Full name
  • Full address
  • Contact details – telephone, fax, email
  • Provider number
  • Date of referral
  • Signature
  • Nominated general practitioner’s details (if known), if the nominated general practitioner is different from the referring practitioner

Relevant clinical information about the condition

  • Presenting symptoms (evolution and duration)
  • Physical findings
  • Details of previous treatment (including systemic and topical medications prescribed) including the course and outcome of the treatment
  • All conservative options that have been pursued unsuccessfully prior to referral
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Details of any associated medical conditions which may affect the condition or its treatment (e.g. diabetes, BMI), noting these must be stable and controlled prior to referral
  • Any special care requirements where relevant (e.g tracheostomy in place, oxygen required)
  • Current medications and dosages
  • Drug allergies
  • Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use

Reason for request

  • To establish a diagnosis
  • For treatment or intervention
  • For advice and management
  • For specialist to take over management
  • Reassurance for GP/second opinion
  • For a specified test/investigation the GP can't order, or the patient can't afford or access
  • Reassurance for the patient/family
  • For other reason (e.g. rapidly accelerating disease progression)
  • Clinical judgement indicates a referral for specialist review is necessary

Clinical modifiers

  • Impact on employment
  • Impact on education
  • Impact on home
  • Impact on activities of daily living functioning – low/medium/high
  • Impact on ability to care for others
  • Impact on personal frailty or safety
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

Other relevant information

  • Willingness to have surgery (where surgery is a likely intervention)
  • Choice to be treated as a public or private patient
  • Compensable status (e.g. DVA, Work Cover, Motor Vehicle Insurance, etc



Essential referral information

Without this information the referral will be returned

  • General referral information
  • Previous endoscopic procedures (date, report and histology)
Additional Referral Information

No additional information

Clinical Override

Clinical override of referral criteria may be requested in the following situations:

  • Inability to include essential referral information. If a specific test result is unable to be obtained due to access, financial, religious, cultural or consent reasons.
  • Patient does not meet minimum referral criteria. If the patient does not meet the criteria for referral but the referring practitioner believes that the patient requires specialist review.
  • Presence of clinical modifiers. The presence of clinical modifiers (as listed above in Standard referral information) may impact on the categorisation of a patient.

Include the reason for request for clinical override as part of the referral. Referrals are reviewed by the triaging specialist who determines the most appropriate course of action.

Out of catchment

West Moreton Health is responsible for providing a public health service to people who reside within its catchment area. To appropriately manage demand for service we do not accept referrals from outside this catchment area. If your patient does live outside the West Moreton Health area and it is deemed socially or clinically necessary for their care to be received in the West Moreton Health Service, inclusion of information regarding their particular medical and/or social factors will assist with the triaging of your referral.


To provide feedback about contents on this website or general referral questions please email or phone 3413 7402.