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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1999 Sep;123(9):778-81.

Endoscopic biopsy pathology of Helicobacter pylori gastritis. Comparison of bacterial detection by immunohistochemistry and Genta stain.

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Department of Pathology, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA 01199, USA.



To describe the endoscopic biopsy pathology of Helicobacter pylori gastritis, compare bacterial detection by immunohistochemistry using a specific antibody with the Genta stain, and to compare the relative costs of the 2 techniques.


One hundred cases of gastritis identified as positive for H pylori by Genta stain and 100 cases considered negative by the same technique were stained using an anti-H pylori-specific polyclonal antibody. Laboratory reagent and labor costs for the 2 methods were compared.


Chronic active gastritis with lymphoid follicles was significantly associated with H pylori infection (P <.0001). The immunohistochemical method had a sensitivity of 97% and a specificity of 98% compared with the Genta stain, with strong agreement for grading density of organisms (kappa = 0.85; P <.001). Reagent costs were similar for both methods, but immunohistochemistry using an autoimmunostainer required less dedicated technical time and hence was less expensive than the Genta stain.


Immunohistochemistry using a specific antibody is an accurate and cost-effective method for H pylori detection in gastric biopsies.

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