Background/Aims: Grading gastric mucosal atrophy in antrum biopsy specimens remains a controversial subject because of limitations in interobserver agreement. We previously described a reliable, quantitative method for grading atrophy of the corpus mucosa with excellent reproducibility and good correlation with the Sydney scores. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the applicability of this method for the grading of antral atrophy and to study the effect of Helicobacter pylori eradication on the antral mucosa. Methods: Antrum biopsy specimens were collected from 71 gastroesophageal reflux disease patients at baseline and after 3 and 12 months. After the first endoscopy, all subjects were treated with omeprazole 40 mg daily for 12 months. After randomization, 27 of the 48 H. pylori-positive patients additionally received eradication therapy. In 182 hematoxylin-eosin-stained specimens, which were of sufficient quality, the proportions (volume percentages) of glands (VPGL), stroma (VPS), infiltrate (VPI), and intestinal metaplasia in the glandular zone of the antrum mucosa were measured using a point-counting method. In these specimens, mucosal atrophy was assessed by two experienced gastrointestinal tract pathologists (E.B. and J.L.) according to the updated Sydney classification as either nonatrophic mucosa (n = 47) or as mild (n = 29), moderate (n = 50), or marked (n = 56) atrophy. In addition, a group of 23 cases with difficult-to-classify grades of atrophy were included. Results: The mean VPGL decreased with increasing Sydney grades of atrophy (p <0.001), while the mean VPS and VPI increased (both p <0.001). After H. pylori eradication, even the cases with the lowest VPGL regressed to normal levels. Conclusions: Overall, a low VPGL correlates with increasing grades of antrum mucosal atrophy. The present data indicate that gastric mucosal atrophy is reversible, since almost all cases showed regression of VPGL after H. pylori eradication. The cases with difficult-to-classify grades of atrophy showed significantly lower VPGLs and higher VPIs than the reference cases.
- Eradication therapy, Helicobacter pylori
- Follow-up, gastric antrum atrophy
- Gastric atrophy
- Helicobacter pylori
- Point counting
ASJC Scopus subject areas