Increasing evidence suggests that bile reflux (BR) plays a major role in mucosal injury, leading to adenocarcinoma of the proximal stomach and distal esophagus. However, gastric BR is difficult to diagnose and investigate. Reactive gastropathy (RG), in the absence of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other known causes, likely represents bile-mediated injury to the gastric mucosa. The goal of this study is to explore the association between antral RG and gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) mucosal inflammation and intestinal metaplasia (IM). The pathology database was searched for patients who had gastric biopsies with a diagnosis of antral RG and concurrent gastric cardia/GEJ/distal esophagus biopsies from 2013 to 2015. Age- and sex-matched patients with normal gastric antral biopsies served as controls. Biopsies from the GEJ region were evaluated for histological changes, including inflammation, antral and pancreatic metaplasia, RG, the type of gastric glands, proton pump inhibitor (PPI) changes, and IM. Detailed clinical history and medication use (including PPIs and NSAIDs) were recorded. IM in the GEJ region was more frequent in patients with antral RG than in controls (33.0% vs. 5.2%, 95% confidence interval [18.3–37.3%]). In addition, inflammation, other mucosal changes around the GEJ (RG and foveolar hyperplasia), antral IM, and PPI-associated mucosal changes were also more frequently seen in patients with antral RG. Our results show that antral RG is associated with mucosal injury and IM around GEJ, suggesting a role of BR. Further studies are needed to study duodenogastric-esophageal BR and its role in development of proximal gastric and distal esophageal adenocarcinoma.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine