May 1988

Gastritis and Campylobacter pylori in Healthy, Asymptomatic Volunteers

Author Affiliations

From the University of Missouri School of Medicine, University of Missouri-Columbia, and the Harry S Truman Memorial Veterans Administration Hospital, Columbia, Mo. Dr Barthel is now with The Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Arch Intern Med. 1988;148(5):1149-1151. doi:10.1001/archinte.1988.00380050153022

• A high prevalence of histologic gastritis in asymptomatic individuals has been reported in the literature. The studies have been poorly controlled for gastritis risk factors. We evaluated 20 healthy, asymptomatic volunteers free of known risk factors for gastritis with endoscopy, mucosal biopsy, culture, and gastric pH determination. The prevalence of gastritis on histologic examination was found to be 20%. There was no relationship between the presence of macroscopic findings at endoscopy and the presence of histologic gastritis. In all instances where histologic gastritis was documented, Campylobacter pylori was observed in the gastric mucus. Mucosal tissue invasion by C pylori was not observed. The presence of gastritis and C pylori was associated with fasting hypochlorhydria. Follow-up evaluation was performed eight to 13 months after the initial endoscopic evaluation in three of the volunteers with positive test results. Persistence of C pylori and gastritis was observed. These findings suggest that histologic gastritis is common in healthy, asymptomatic individuals and is strongly associated with the presence of C pylori.

(Arch Intern Med 1988;148:1149-1151)