Review article

Gastric atrophy and atrophic gastritis - Nebulous concepts in search of a definition

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53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Epidemiological and biological evidence indicates that atrophic gastritis represents an important risk factor for gastric adenocarcinoma of the intestinal type. To estimate an individual subject's risk of gastric cancer, pathologists should be able to diagnose correctly and reliably assess gastric atrophy. However both anecdotal evidence and recent studies suggest that pathologists have a low level of agreement on gastric atrophy. Moreover, the terms 'gastric atrophy' and 'atrophic gastritis' remain imprecisely defined, further adding confusion to the histopathological imprecision. The use of visual analogue scales proposed in the recently updated Sydney System for the classification and grading of gastritis may eventually help pathologists achieve a greater degree of interobserver agreement on the histopathological features of gastritis. However this cannot be achieved in the absence of a stringent and widely accepted definition of atrophy. The purpose of this article is to review briefly the possible pathogenetic pathways leading to the development of atrophic changes in the gastric mucosa, explore the issue of its reversibility, and propose a working definition that could contribute to improved diagnostic reproducibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Supplement
Volume12
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998

Fingerprint

Atrophic Gastritis
Atrophy
Stomach
Gastritis
Gastric Mucosa
Visual Analog Scale
Stomach Neoplasms
Adenocarcinoma
Pathologists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "Epidemiological and biological evidence indicates that atrophic gastritis represents an important risk factor for gastric adenocarcinoma of the intestinal type. To estimate an individual subject's risk of gastric cancer, pathologists should be able to diagnose correctly and reliably assess gastric atrophy. However both anecdotal evidence and recent studies suggest that pathologists have a low level of agreement on gastric atrophy. Moreover, the terms 'gastric atrophy' and 'atrophic gastritis' remain imprecisely defined, further adding confusion to the histopathological imprecision. The use of visual analogue scales proposed in the recently updated Sydney System for the classification and grading of gastritis may eventually help pathologists achieve a greater degree of interobserver agreement on the histopathological features of gastritis. However this cannot be achieved in the absence of a stringent and widely accepted definition of atrophy. The purpose of this article is to review briefly the possible pathogenetic pathways leading to the development of atrophic changes in the gastric mucosa, explore the issue of its reversibility, and propose a working definition that could contribute to improved diagnostic reproducibility.",
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