The diagnostic investigation of choice is endoscopy which allows visual identification of suspicious features of the oesophagus and biopsy for histological confirmation. The typical oesophagogastroduodenoscopy (OGD) examination is performed as an outpatient procedure under sedation and local anaesthesia, taking only approximately 10 minutes. Where endoscopy is not available, barium swallow X-ray of the oesophagus is the usual screening investigation.
Other important investigations to support the diagnosis and to determine the degree of involvement include CT scans, PET scans, bronchoscopy and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS). Some patients may also require a staging laparoscopy or thoracoscopy in order to determine the degree of spread prior to embarking on a treatment regimen.