Gastric cardia inflammation: role of Helicobacter pylori infection and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease.Am J Gastroenterol 2001; 96(8):2337-40AJ
Although high prevalences of both chronic inflammation (carditis) and intestinal metaplasia at the gastric cardia have been reported, the pathogenesis is still unclear. This study assesses the role of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in these histological alterations.
Consecutive patients who underwent upper endoscopy were enrolled in the study, irrespective of their symptoms. Patients previously treated for H. pylori infection and those using proton pump inhibitors were excluded. Two biopsies were performed in the antrum, two in the gastric body, and two at the gastric cardia. All biopsies were used to look for H. pylori and for histological assessment.
A total of 133 patients were enrolled. Carditis and intestinal metaplasia at the cardia were detected in 100 (75.2%) and in 18 (13.5%) patients, respectively. The H. pylori infection rate was significantly higher in patients with carditis than in those without it (87/100 vs 7/33; p < 0.0001), and was higher in those with intestinal metaplasia at the cardia than in those without it (17/94 vs 1/39; p = 0.03). Conversely, the prevalence of GERD symptoms was not significantly different between patients with and without carditis (34/100 vs 16/33; p = NS), and between those with and without intestinal metaplasia (5/50 vs 13/83; p = NS). Interestingly, the prevalence of both H. pylori (64/94 vs 39/94; p = 0.0005) and intestinal metaplasia (18/133 vs 4/133; p = 0.0042) in the gastric cardia was significantly higher than that in gastric body.
According to our study data, the gastric cardia is frequently infected with H. pylori with consequent development of both carditis and intestinal metaplasia, whereas GERD does not seem to be involved in these histological changes.