OBJECTIVE: Different types of chronic gastritis, including antral predominant, corpus predominant, and multifocal pangastritis, are associated with Helicobacter pylori infection. Specific patterns of H. pylori gastritis that might characterize individuals with family histories of noncardia gastric cancer (GC) were investigated. METHODS: Histopathological changes associated with H. pylori gastritis were assessed in 111 individuals with family histories of GC and in 77 without from a region with high prevalence of H. pylori infection and GC. Gastric biopsies were taken from 12 sites (antrum, five; corpus, six; and cardia, one). RESULTS: Individuals (age < 36 yr) with family histories of GC developed pangastritis and had higher H. pylori bacterial scores (p < 0.05) in the gastric corpus, whereas those without family histories of GC typically had antral predominant gastritis. The correlation between density of polymor-phonuclear leukocytes and density of H. pylori at each biopsy site was statistically significant (p < 0.01). Pangastritis was associated with a higher density of lymphoid aggregates and follicles (p < 0.05) in the corpus of younger individuals (age < 36) and in the antrum of older individuals (age ≥ 48) with positive family histories of GC. CONCLUSIONS: Pangastritis and high lymphoid follicle density associated with H. pylori infection were found in patients with family histories of GC. Because a family history of gastric carcinoma is associated with increased risk of gastric cancer development, characterization of histological patterns of gastritis may be applicable to gastric cancer screening and surveillance, especially in relatively young at-risk populations.
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