Predictability of Gastric Intestinal Metaplasia by Mottled Patchy Erythema Seen on Endoscopy

Naoyoshi Nagata, Takuro Shimbo, Junichi Akiyama, Ryo Nakashima, Hyung Hun Kim, Takeichi Yoshida, Kazufusa Hoshimoto, Naomi Uemura


Background: Intestinal metaplasia (IM) is regarded as a premalignant lesion. However, endoscopic diagnosis of IM has been considered difficult. Using endoscopy, we found a unique pattern of erythema, “Mottled Patchy Erythema (MPE),” which includes severe IM. Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection itself can cause erythema, which reflects histologic changes in the gastric mucosa. Therefore we enrolled Hp eradication patients to validate the relation between MPE and pathologic findings.

Methods: We enrolled patients with chronic gastritis who underwent successful Hp eradication at least 6 months before the study. We defined MPE as multiple flat or depressed erythematous lesions. When encountering MPE on endoscopy, we performed biopsy on both the MPE site and non-MPE site. The non-MPE site was defined as an adjacent mucosa located within 3 cm of the MPE site. All biopsy specimens were evaluated immunohistochemically for IM subtype using MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC6, CD10, and CDX2 stains. The degree of IM was defined according to the Updated Sydney System. The diagnostic accuracy of the MPE findings for pathologic IM was calculated. The relation between MPE and IM subtype was also assessed.

Results: A total of 102 patients were selected for the study. Of these, 55 (54%) patients had MPE. Biopsy specimens were taken from the MPE sites and non-MPE sites from these 55 patients. The IM percentages and median scores of IM were both significantly higher at the MPE sites (P < 0.001) than at the non-MPE sites. The sensitivity and specificity for MPE in the detection of histologic IM were 72.7% and 84.1%, respectively. No significant associations were observed in the expression of MUC2, MUC5AC, MUC6, CD10, and CDX2 between the MPE sites and non-MPE sites. There were no significant differences in the ratios (complete/incomplete) of IM subtypes between the two groups.

Conclusions: MPE is a useful endoscopic finding to detect histologic IM without the use of chromoendoscopy and magnifying endoscopy. However, the IM subtype is difficult to identify. In the era of Hp eradication, MPE has the potential to become a predictive finding for the risk of gastric cancer.

Gastroenterol Res. 2011;4(5):203-209


Intestinal metaplasia; Premalignant lesion; Endoscopic finding; Erythema; White-light endoscopy; Subtype, eradication; Helicobacter pylori

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