Systematic gastric biopsy in iron deficiency anaemia.

Published on Dec 1, 2017in Arab Journal of Gastroenterology1.013
· DOI :10.1016/J.AJG.2017.11.005
Abstract Background and study aims Gastric biopsies are recommended in patients with iron deficiency anaemia to identify atrophic gastritis. However, in practice, only duodenal biopsies are routinely performed. The aim of our study was to determine the value of gastric biopsies in iron deficiency anaemia. Patients and methods A prospective study including all patients referred for gastrointestinal endoscopy for iron deficiency anaemia from May 2008 to September 2014 was performed. All patients having endoscopic lesions which may explain occult bleeding were excluded, as well as patients using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or anticoagulation treatment. Two fundic biopsies, two antral biopsies, and one biopsy from the lesser curve were taken in all patients. Following entities were particularly looked for: chronic gastritis, Helicobacter pylori infection, intestinal metaplasia, endocrine hyperplasia and villous atrophy. In cases where intestinal metaplasia was present in the fundus and associated with endocrine hyperplasia and glandular atrophy, immunohistochemical study was performed to confirm autoimmune gastritis. Results One hundred seventy-seven patients (mean age 50 years, range: 15–90) were included. Chronic gastritis was found in 149 cases (84%). Infection by Helicobacter pylori was found in 107 cases (60%). Fundic intestinal metaplasia was observed in 25 patients (14%) and was associated with Helicobacter pylori infection in 52% of cases. Atrophic gastritis was observed in 14 cases (8%) and autoimmune gastritis was confirmed in 5 cases by immunohistochemical study. One patient had on gastric biopsy a carcinoma with signet ring cells. Conclusion Intestinal metaplasia was frequently observed and was mostly related to Helicobacter pylori infection. These patients require monitoring, especially if they are young because it represents a pre neoplastic condition. However, in our study autoimmune gastritis often described in the literature in case of iron deficiency anaemia was rarely seen raising the question of relative cost-efficiency of fundic biopsies during iron deficiency anaemia.
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