Diagnosis: Gastric intestinal metaplasia: What to do next?

David Y. Graham, Massimo Rugge, Robert M Genta

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Scopus citations


Purpose of review One of the most vexing problems for gastroenterologists is what actions to take after receiving a histological diagnosis of gastric intestinal metaplasia. We approach the problem by starting with suggesting a biopsy protocol that ensures obtaining the biopsies required for diagnosis, assessing the status of the gastric mucosa, and effective communication with the pathologist and patient. Recent findings The rediscovery and integration of the long history of gastric damage and repair resulting in pseudopyloric metaplasia (called SPEM) into the thinking of investigators working with animal models of gastric cancer has resulted in improved ability to separate changes associated with benign repair from those associated with inflammation-associated gastric carcinogenesis. Summary Gastric intestinal metaplasia is a potential reversible product of injury and repair and not directly connected with carcinogenesis. Intestinal metaplasia is a biomarker for prior gastric injury and repair. The risk of gastric cancer is best assessed in relation to the severity, extent, and, most importantly, the cause of the atrophic changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Opinion in Gastroenterology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • atrophy
  • autoimmune gastritis
  • cancer
  • gastric
  • gastric biopsy
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • injury and repair
  • intestinal metaplasia
  • pseudopyloric metaplasia
  • risk assessment
  • spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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