Background: Nodularity on the gastric mucosa is occasionally seen in general practice. There is no consensus about the association of nodular gastritis and histological premalignant lesions. This study is designed to investigate the prevalence of histological premalignant lesions in dyspeptic patients with endoscopic nodular gastritis.
Methods: Consecutive patients with endoscopic nodular gastritis were compared with an age- and sex-matched control group. Endoscopic nodular gastritis was defined as a miliary nodular appearance of the gastric mucosa on endoscopy. Biopsy samples of stomach tissue were examined for the presence of atrophic gastritis, intestinal metaplasia, and dysplasia. The presence of Helicobacter pylori infection was determined by histology.
Results: From 5366 evaluated patients, a total of 273 patients with endoscopic nodular gastritis and 1103 participants as control group were enrolled. H. pylori infection was detected in 87.5% of the patients with endoscopic nodular gastritis, whereas 73.8% of the control group were positive for H. pylori (p < 0.001). Prevalence of incomplete intestinal metaplasia (p = 0.016) and dysplasia (p < 0.001) in patients with endoscopic nodular gastritis were significantly higher than in the control group. Prevalence of atrophic gastritis and complete intestinal metaplasia were also more frequent in patients with endoscopic nodular gastritis than in the control group.
Conclusion: Dysplasia, incomplete intestinal metaplasia and H. pylori infection are significantly more frequent in patients with endoscopic nodular gastritis. Although further studies are needed before a clear conclusion can be reached, we suggest that endoscopic nodular gastritis might serve as a premalignant lesion and could be biopsied in all patients for the possibility of histological premalignancy, in addition to H. pylori infection.