Inflammation and intestinal metaplasia at the squamocolumnar junction in young patients with or without Helicobacter pylori infection

Oksanen, A.; Sipponen, P.; Karttunen, R.; Rautelin, H.
February 2003
Gut;Feb2003, Vol. 52 Issue 2, p194
Academic Journal
Background: Intestinal metaplasia (IM) in the oesophagus is a known risk factor for adenocarcinoma of the oesophagus. The incidence of adenocarcinoma of the cardia and oesophagus has increased in Western countries simultaneously with a decrease in Helicobacter pylori prevalence. Aims: To determine the association of H pylori infection with inflammation and IM at the squamocolumnar junction (SCJ) in young individuals. Patients: A total of 168 (121 women; 72%) consecutive outpatients, ≤45 years, undergoing gastroscopy, and with no prior H pylori eradication treatment. Methods: Biopsy specimens taken from the antrum, corpus, SC J, and oesophagus were assessed according to the updated Sydney system, and type of IM (complete or incomplete) was determined. Serum samples from H pylori positive patients were studied for CagA antibodies. Results: In 86% of 37 patients with gastritis in the antrum and/or corpus (24 histologically H pylori positive) and in 23% of 125 patients with a healthy stomach, inflammation was present in the glandular mucosa at the SCJ. In the latter, cardiac mucosa more often than fundic mucosa at the SCJ was inflamed (p<0.001), the inflammation was usually milder in nature, and was associated with signs of reflux disease. IM (incomplete or complete) at the SCJ was evident in nine of those 24 with a healthy stomach and inflamed cardiac mucosa at the SCJ but in none of those with H pylori gastritis. Conclusions: IM at the SCJ can also appear in young individuals in whom it seems to be associated with reflux related isolated inflammation in cardiac mucosa at the SCJ but not with H pylori gastritis.


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