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Pathol Int. 1997 Dec;47(12):831-41.

Gastric and intestinal mixed and solely intestinal types of intestinal metaplasia in the human stomach.

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Laboratory of Pathology, Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute, Nagoya, Japan.


To generate a novel understanding of intestinal metaplasia (IM) on the basis of cellular differentiation status, a total of 132 gastric surgical specimens were studied using gastric and small intestinal cell markers by mucin histochemical and immunohistochemical techniques. The cases were divided into two types: (i) gastric and intestinal (GI) mixed type; and (ii) solely intestinal (I) type, with the reference to the presence of gastric and/or intestinal cell markers. The GI mixed type was subdivided into six subtypes: (I) a subtype consisting of surface mucous (Su), pyloric gland (Py), intestinal absorptive (Ab), and goblet (Go) cells, but lacking Paneth (Pa) cells, GI(Pa-); (ii) a GI(Pa-) subtype without Py cells, GI(Py-, Pa-); (iii) a GI(Pa-) subtype without Su cells, GI(Su-, Pa-); (iv) a GI(Su-, Pa-) subtype with Pa cells, GI(Su-, Pa+); (v) a GI(Pa-) subtype with Pa cells, GI(Pa+); and (vi) a GI(Pa+) subtype without Py cells, GI(Py-, Pa+). The I type was subdivided into: (i) a subtype consisting of cells with Ab and Go cells, I(Pa-); and (ii) a I(Pa-) subtype with Paneth cells, I(Pa+). The GI mixed subtypes, except for the GI(Py-, Pa-) and GI(Py-, Pa+), were characterized by intestinalized gastric pits connected with underlying pyloric glands. Immunohistochemical staining of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) revealed a common proliferative cell zone between the two. The GI mixed type, especially the GI(Pa-) subtype, predominated in the pyloric mucosa, while the I type was most frequent in the fundic region, suggesting that the pathogenesis of IM differs between these two locations. The results of the study confirm that IM is an abnormal and unstable differentiation status between the stomach and small intestine.

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