[Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection and gastric cancer precursor lesions in patients with dyspepsia]

Leandro Bizarro Muller, Renato Borges Fagundes, Claudia Carvalho de Moraes, Alexandre Rampazzo
Arquivos de Gastroenterologia 2007, 44 (2): 93-8

BACKGROUND: Helicobacter pylori infection has been considered to play significant role in gastric carcinogenesis, but only a minority of people who harbor this organism will develop gastric cancer. H. pylori infection first causes chronic non atrophic gastritis. Chronic non atrophic gastritis may evolve to atrophic gastritis and intestinal metaplasia and finally to dysplasia and adenocarcinoma.

AIMS: To estimate the prevalence of H. pylori infection and the precancerous gastric lesions and their relationship, in patients with dyspeptic symptoms who underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy at a reference center in the central region of Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil.

METHODS: We analyzed gastric biopsies taken from corpus and antrum of patients who underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy for H. pylori detection, between 1994 and 2003. According to Sydney system, chronic non atrophic gastritis, atrophic gastritis and intestinal metaplasia were diagnosed by histological examination (H-E stain). The histological diagnoses were related to H. pylori infection status.

RESULTS: Biopsies from 2,019 patients were included in the study. Patients mean age was 52 (+/-15) and 59% were female. Seventy six percent had H. pylori infection. Normal mucosa, chronic non atrophic gastritis, atrophic gastritis and intestinal metaplasia were diagnosed in 5%, 77%, 3% and 15%, respectively. The OR for any degree of gastric mucosa lesion in infected patients was 10 (CI95% 6.50 - 17%). The OR for infected patients had chronic non atrophic gastritis was 3 (CI95% 2,2 - 3,4). The OR for infected patients had atrophic gastritis or intestinal metaplasia was less than 1.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of H. pylori infection in this population was high (76%) and infected individuals had the probability 10 folds greater than non infected individuals to have any lesion of gastric mucosa. The prevalence of precancerous lesions was 77% for non atrophic chronic gastritis, 3% for atrophic gastritis and 15% for intestinal metaplasia. Infected patients had risk 3 folds greater than non-infected for the occurrence of non atrophic chronic gastritis. H. pylori infection did not show risk for occurrence of atrophic gastritis and intestinal metaplasia, suggesting that other risk factors should be involved in the carcinogenesis process.

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