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Digestion. 2006;74(1):42-6. Epub 2006 Oct 26.

Hypergastrinemia is associated with increased risk of distal colon adenomas.

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Gastroenterology Unit, Evangelismos Hospital, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.



Helicobacter pylori infection is a recognized cause of hypergastrinemia, but the association of blood gastrin levels with colonic adenomas (CAs) is controversial. The aim of this study is to investigate if hypergastrinemia, H. pylori infection and/or cagA protein are risk factors for CAs.


In this prospective case-control study, fasting serum samples from 78 consecutive patients with CAs and 78 demographically matched colonoscopy-negative controls were assayed for anti-H. pylori immunoglobulin G, cagA protein and serum gastrin levels. Multivariate analysis was performed to identify risk factors for colon adenomas.


Though prevalence of H. pylori antibodies was not significantly different, the prevalence of cagA protein was significantly higher in patients with adenomas (42.3%) as compared with controls (25.6%, p < 0.03). Mediangastrin levels were significantly higher in patients with CAs (55, 20-975 pg/ml) than in controls (45.2, 23-529 pg/ml) (p < 0.001). Hypergastrinemia (>110 pg/ml) was commoner in patients with CAs than in controls (29.5 vs. 11.5%, p = 0.006) and was the only independent risk factor for adenomas (odds ratio 3.2, 95% CI 1.4-7.5) by multivariate analysis, but not H. pylori infection or cagA positivity. There was a significant association of hypergastrinemia and distal distribution of adenomas (p < 0.002).


Our study shows that hypergastrinemia is a risk factor for CAs, especially of the distal colon.

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