Minute lesions of intestinal metaplasia composed of a few metaplastic tubules were observed in the gastric mucosa during routine histological examination of gastrectomy specimens. The histological findings indicated that these lesions might be an initial stage of more advanced intestinal metaplasia. Accordingly, more than 18,000 serial sections in 10 stomachs with chronic ulcers were examined to clarify the histopathogenesis of the intestinal metaplasia. It was concluded from the three dimensional reconstruction of minute intestinal metaplasia lesions that these lesions originated during the regenerative process of healing of gastric erosions. The lesions were roughly globoid with a depression on the surface. It is thought that with continuous formation and healing of gastric erosions, more extensive intestinal metaplasia lesions would be formed by an increase in size and confluence of these focal minute intestinal metaplasia lesions.
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