Specialized intestinal metaplasia and carditis at the gastroesophageal junction in Chinese patients undergoing endoscopy
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OBJECTIVE: Specialized intestinal metaplasia (SIM) is often found at a normal-looking gastroesophageal junction on routine biopsy. The prevalence of SIM in Asian populations has not been recorded. Its significance is also unclear. The objective of the study was to document the prevalence of SIM at the gastroesophageal junction in a Chinese population undergoing endoscopy. METHODS: Biopsies were taken at the gastroesophageal junction in 145 patients, both at the squamocolumnar junction and immediately below in the gastric cardia. Specimens were examined for the type of epithelium (squamous, cardiac, and fundic), the presence of SIM, and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). RESULTS: Of 145 patients who underwent endoscopy, 136 had a normal-looking gastroesophageal junction. Cardiac epithelium was found in 100 patients. Of these 100 patients, SIM was documented in 34% of patients and carditis in 20%. Patients with SIM were older compared with those without SIM (mean age 62 yr and 56 yr, p = 0.035). Carditis was more prevalent in patients with SIM. It was present in 11 out of 34 patients who had SIM (32.4%) compared with nine in 66 patients (13.6%) without SIM, p = 0.036. When carditis was found, H. pylori was present at the cardia in 40% of patients (eight of 20) compared with only 18% (14 of 80) in those without carditis, p = 0.039. CONCLUSIONS: SIM is prevalent at the gastroesophageal junction in Chinese patients undergoing endoscopy and is associated with carditis. Carditis in turn may be related to H. pylori infection.
American Journal of Gastroenterology