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Intestinal metaplasia in endoscopic biopsy specimens of gastric mucosa.
  1. G A Rothery,
  2. D W Day


    A total of 1412 consecutive cases of endoscopic gastric biopsy, carried out over a four year period, were reviewed and specimens were examined histochemically to determine the prevalence of intestinal metaplasia and its variants. Three types were characterised: complete intestinal metaplasia and two classes of incomplete intestinal metaplasia (type IIa and type IIb) depending on the absence or presence, respectively, of sulphomucins within mucin secreting columnar cells. Type IIb intestinal metaplasia was significantly more common in patients with gastric carcinoma (p less than 0.001) and in those with dysplasia (p less than 0.001) than in patients with benign gastric pathology. No such association was found with either type I or type IIa intestinal metaplasia. In addition to those present in the columnar cells of type IIb intestinal metaplasia, sulphomucins were also commonly found in goblet cells of all three types of metaplasia. The presence of sulphomucins in goblet cells, however, was not significantly associated with gastric carcinoma or dysplasia. The significance of the different types of intestinal metaplasia in relation to the pathological findings is discussed.

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