Send to

Choose Destination
Lab Invest. 1994 Jul;71(1):73-81.

Epstein-Barr virus-associated gastric carcinoma and Epstein-Barr virus infection of the stomach.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Tokyo Metropolitan Komagome Hospital, Japan.



Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been found to be associated with a type of gastric carcinoma (EBVaGC). However, many questions remain unanswered, such as epidemiology, and pathologic features of EBVaGC and the significance of EBV in the genesis of EBVaGC.


Gastric carcinoma and non-neoplastic mucosa were evaluated to reveal the following issues: the incidence of EBVaGC in Japanese population, pathologic features and EBV genotype, clonality, and gene-expression in EBVaGC, localization of EBV in non-neoplastic stomach, and serum titer of anti-EBV antibodies in EBVaGC-carrying patients.


Using PCR and EBER1 in situ hybridization, EBVaGC (definitely amplifiable EBV-DNA and positive EBER1-signal in the nuclei of carcinoma cells) was found in 8 of 72 gastric carcinomas (11%). The dominant genotype of EBV was type A (7/8), with type C (6/8), and F (8/8) restriction enzyme polymorphism, which are the predominant type of EBV found in throat washing of the general population in Japan. EBVaGC was found in the cardia (4/8) or body (4/8) of the stomach, and consisted of 7 advanced and 1 intramucosal carcinoma. By Southern blot analysis of EBVaGC hybridized with right- and left-side probe adjacent to the terminal repeats, EBV was present in a monoclonal episomal form in all of the EBVaGC. EBVaGC lacked expression of EBNA2 (0/8) and LMP1 (0/8) by immunocytochemistry. In non-neoplastic mucosa, EBER1 signal was identified in the infiltrating lymphocytes and shedding epithelial cells predominantly in fundic gland mucosa of patients with EBVaGC (8/8). Patients with EBVaGC showed high titers of anti-VCA IgG (8/8), anti-VCA IgA (2/8) and anti-EA IgG (7/8) antibodies just before surgery.


EBV may infect the surface epithelium of the stomach through the reactivated EBV-carrying lymphocytes. EBV may be a factor initiating EBVaGC. Anti-EBV antibodies or EBER1 in situ hybridization may help to identify patients at high risk for EBVaGC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center