The gastric cardia in gastro-oesophageal disease.J Clin Pathol 2000; 53(8):619-25JC
There have been conflicting reports concerning the use of cardia biopsies in screening patients for gastro-oesophageal disease.
To define the histopathological changes in the gastric cardia of patients with and without gastro-oesophageal disease.
Topographically mapped gastric biopsy specimens were obtained from patients with gastro-oesophageal disease and from controls. Biopsies were scored on a visual analogue scale of 0 to 5 for Helicobacter pylori, intestinal metaplasia, pancreatic metaplasia, foveolar hyperplasia, and active inflammation. The presence or absence of cardiac glands was recorded.
Sixty-five patients with gastro-oesophageal disease and 71 controls were examined. Intestinal metaplasia was present in cardia biopsies of 10 patients with gastro-oesophageal disease and 11 controls. Only two patients with gastro-oesophageal disease and intestinal metaplasia in the cardia had no evidence of exposure to H pylori. Intestinal metaplasia was not found in the cardia of those with long segment Barrett's oesophagus. Carditis was strongly associated with active H pylori infection (p = 0.000) and resolved after treatment of the infection. A negative association was present between gastro-oesophageal disease and the presence of cardiac glands in cardiac biopsies (p = 0.003). Pancreatic metaplasia was found in 15 of 65 and foveolar hyperplasia in 19 of 65 cases but neither was related to gastro-oesophageal disease.
Intestinal metaplasia in the cardia is uncommon in gastro-oesophageal disease in the absence of H pylori infection. With chronic H pylori infection the junction between the cardia and corpus expands in a cardia-corpal direction.