Spiral organisms in endoscopic biopsies of the human stomach.
A retrospective light microscopic study of 310 consecutive endoscopic gastric biopsy specimens was performed. Spiral bacteria were found in 42% of cases and, apart from occasional organisms in parietal cell canaliculi, were confined to the surface of the glands and epithelium. Electron microscopic study of selected cases showed the bacteria to be approximately 6 micron maximum length and 0.7 micron diameter with a spiral periodicity of 1.2 micron. A significant association between the occurrence of spiral bacteria and gastritis was noted but not with carcinoma, peptic ulceration, or high pH of the gastric aspirate.