The advent of the fibreoptic gastroscope with biopsy facilities has provided the means of obtaining biopsy specimens under direct vision from any part of the stomach. This creates new opportunities for the study of chronic gastritis, and, in particular, its evolution, topographical location, and causal relationships. On the basis of an experience with more than 2,500 biopsy specimens we have outlined a method for their systematic examination and have proposed a classification of chronic gastritis. This classification includes the type of mucosa, the type and stage of activity of the gastritis, and the presence and type of metaplasia. The classification is sufficiently flexible to allow within it quantitative assessment of individual histological features.
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