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Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Mar;4(3):306-14.

Noninvasive versus histologic detection of gastric atrophy in a Hispanic population in North America.

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Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.



Cancer risk is directly correlated with the severity and extent of mucosal atrophy, making identification of atrophy a goal in cancer prevention programs. The aim of this study was to compare targeted histology with noninvasive testing for the identification of antral and/or corpus atrophy in North America.


In a cross-sectional study of a random sample of households, 8 gastric biopsy specimens were obtained from defined locations in the antrum and corpus. Biopsies were scored for the presence of Helicobacter pylori and gastric atrophy (defined as loss of normal glandular components). Atrophy was scored by using the Sydney system and a system based on the number and location of corpus biopsies with atrophy. Patients' sera were examined for pepsinogen I, pepsinogen II, and gastrin-17 (fasting and stimulated).


One hundred eighty volunteers, approximately 30 per age group and ranging in age from 18-82 years, participated. There were 76 men. The overall weighted prevalence of a corpus atrophy was 4.7% (95% confidence interval, 2.3-7.0). There was a significant inverse relationship between the grade of corpus atrophy and the pepsinogen I/pepsinogen II ratio (R = -0.31, P < .01). We failed to confirm the usefulness of the proposed algorithm by using gastrin-17, H. pylori serology, and serum pepsinogens to categorize the gastric histology. The Sydney system underestimated the prevalence of corpus atrophy by approximately 25%.


Noninvasive testing is both possible and practical by using pepsinogen assays for the identification of the precancerous condition of moderate to severe corpus atrophy in North American Hispanic patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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