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Hum Pathol. 1999 Jul;30(7):826-32.

Well-differentiated adenocarcinoma mimicking complete-type intestinal metaplasia in the stomach.

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Department of Pathology, Yamagata University School of Medicine, Japan.


We describe extremely well-differentiated intestinal-type adenocarcinomas of the stomach which mimic complete-type intestinal metaplasia. It is often difficult to discriminate such neoplastic lesions from inflamed or regenerative changes of intestinal metaplasia histologically. The aim of this study was to elucidate the clinicopathologic features of this unique carcinoma. Eight cases of gastric carcinoma of this type that were invasive beyond the muscularis mucosae were selected for mucin histochemical and immunohistochemical analyses. The carcinomas showed the following features: (1) predominant cells that had differentiated to mature neoplastic cells, with features of small intestinal absorptive cells (complete-type intestinal metaplastic cells), which have sialomucin, MUC2-positive cells, and brush border features detected by CD10 (56C6) staining; (2) neoplastic tubules in the mucosa showing branching, tortuous, anastomosing, and plexiform structures, which were more pathognomonic than the cytological features; (3) lesions distributed predominantly in the middle third of the stomach and surrounded by the fundic mucosa; and (4) zonal distribution of Ki-67-positive proliferative cells like those of intestinal metaplasia in the lower third to half of the cancerous tubules in the mucosa. The lesions consisted mainly of illusory carcinoma; however, there were foci of pathognomonic elements in some areas of the tumors. Several biopsy samplings of the lesion would ensure the histopathologic diagnosis. This unique lesion forms a subgroup of intestinal-type carcinomas of the stomach and is suggested to have a close link with complete-type intestinal metaplasia, previously ignored as a precancerous lesion.

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