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Extensive intestinal metaplasia in gastric carcinoma and in other lesions requiring surgery. A study of 3421 gastrectomy specimens from dwellers of the Atlantic and Pacific basins
  1. C A Rubio1,
  2. J Jónasson2,
  3. G Nesi3,
  4. K Mandai4,
  5. R Pisano5,
  6. A King6,
  7. D Owen7
  1. 1Department of Pathology, Karolinska Institute and University Hospital, 17176, Stockholm, Sweden
  2. 2Department of Pathology, Reykjavik University, 121 Reykjavik, Iceland
  3. 3Department of Pathology, Universitá Degli Studi di Firenze, 50134 Florence, Italy
  4. 4Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, NHO Higashihiroshima Medical Centre, 513 Jike, Saijocho, Higashihiroshima City, Hiroshima 739-0041, Japan, National Shikoku Cancer Centre Hospital, Matsuyama, Japan
  5. 5Department of Pathology, Hospital Jaraquemada, 15423 Santiago, Chile
  6. 6Department of Pathology, Middlemore Hospital, 129 Otahuhu, New Zealand
  7. 7Department of Pathology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, V5G IM9 Canada
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr C A Rubio
    Gastrointestinal and Liver Pathology Research Laboratory, Department of Pathology, Karolinska Institute and University Hospital, 17176, Stockholm, Sweden;


Background: Extensive intestinal metaplasia (EIM) has been reported in gastrectomies from patients dwelling in the Pacific and Atlantic basins.

Aims: To compare all the results in an attempt to explain the findings.

Method: All sections from 3421 gastrectomies were reviewed at various hospitals: 1946 in the Atlantic and 1475 in the Pacific basin. Sections with EIM showed IM encompassing one or more entire low power field (⩾5 mm in length/section) in one or more section.

Results: In the Atlantic basin, EIM was present in 18.8% (153 of 814) of specimens with intestinal carcinoma (IC) and in 10.3% (65 of 630) of those with diffuse carcinoma (DC). In the Pacific basin, EIM was found in 62.9% (412 of 655) of gastrectomies with IC and in 33.3% (160 of 481) of those with DC. The numbers of specimens with EIM were significantly higher in the Pacific than in the Atlantic basin for both carcinoma phenotypes, particularly among elderly patients (⩾60 years).

Conclusions: The proportion of gastrectomies with EIM was higher among populations at a higher gastric cancer risk than in those with a lower cancer risk. EIM was mostly associated with IC rather than DC or with miscellaneous gastric diseases (841 control gastrectomies) in both basins. The proportion of gastrectomies with EIM was significantly higher in Vancouver than in New York and in Santiago de Chile than in Buenos Aires, even though these populations reside at approximately the same geographical latitude, but in different basins. Environmental factors seem to accelerate the evolution of EIM.

  • DC, diffuse carcinoma
  • EIM, extensive intestinal metaplasia
  • H&E, haematoxylin and eosin
  • IC, intestinal carcinoma
  • IM, intestinal metaplasia
  • gastric
  • intestinal metaplasia
  • carcinoma
  • gastrectomy

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