The role of Helicobacter pylori infection and/or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in pathogenesis of intestinal metaplasia in gastric cardia is still unclear.
To prospectively evaluate prevalence of inflammation and intestinal metaplasia of cardia in relationship to Helicobacter pylori infection in patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and in healthy controls.
A total of 122 consecutive patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and 49 control subjects were included.
During endoscopy, a total of six biopsies were taken from antrum, corpus and cardia. Helicobacter pylori infection was assessed by histology and rapid urease test. Degree of chronic gastritis, inflammatory activity and Helicobacter pylori colonization were scored from 0 to 3.
No difference in prevalence was observed between gastro-oesophageal reflux disease patients and controls as far as concerns Helicobacter pylori (41% vs 38%), inflammation of cardia (59.5% vs 70%) and intestinal metaplasia of cardia (18% vs 19%). Inflammation of cardia was significantly (p<0.001) associated with Helicobacter pylori irrespective of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease symptoms. Cardial intestinal metaplasia was more frequently (p=0.03) found in infected subjects ((27%) than in uncolonized subjects (13%). No relationship was observed between gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and carditis and cardial intestinal metaplasia. Cardial intestinal metaplasia was more frequently detected in association with carditis (26% vs 6%, p=0.001).
Inflammation and intestinal metaplasia of the gastric cardia are not markers of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease but are related to Helicobacter pylori.