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Helicobacter. 2006 Apr;11(2):86-95.

Comparison of localized gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma with and without Helicobacter pylori infection.

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Department of Endoscopy, Shinshu University Hospital, Matsumoto, Japan.



The clinical features and clinical course of Helicobacter pylori-negative gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma are unclear and a treatment strategy has not yet been established.


To clarify the clinical differences between H. pylori-positive and H. pylori-negative gastric MALT lymphoma, we compared these two types of gastric MALT lymphoma.


Fifty-seven patients with localized gastric MALT lymphoma were studied. H. pylori infection was present in 41 and absent in 16. Treatment consisted of antibiotic therapy and/or 30 Gy radiation therapy. Response assessment was performed every 3-6 months by esophagogastroduodenoscopy including gathering biopsy samples, endoscopic ultrasonography, clinical examination, and various imaging procedures. The median follow-up period was 37 months.


There were no significant differences between H. pylori-positive and H. pylori-negative gastric MALT lymphoma patients in terms of sex, age, stage, gross phenotype, affected area of the stomach, or the presence of monoclonality. Complete regression was achieved with antibiotic therapy against H. pylori-negative gastric MALT lymphoma in one of nine patients (11.1%), compared to 28 of 38 patients (73.7%) with H. pylori-positive gastric MALT lymphoma (p < .001). Radiation therapy showed high effectiveness for the local control of H. pylori-negative or antibiotic-resistant gastric MALT lymphoma (92.9%), although distant recurrence was recognized in three of 14 patients (21.4%). Two of 16 patients (12.5%) with H. pylori-negative gastric MALT lymphoma died because of the transformation of the disease into diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. There was a significant difference in both the overall and cause-specific survival rate between the two groups (p = .038).


Radiation therapy is the effective treatment for H. pylori-negative or antibiotic-resistant localized gastric MALT lymphoma. However, careful systemic follow-up for distant involvement should be required. Transformation into diffuse large B-cell lymphoma is thought to be the important cause of death in patients with gastric MALT lymphoma.

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