Low serum pepsinogen I (PGI) and low pepsinogen I/pepsinogen II ratio (PGI/II ratio) are markers of gastric fundic atrophy. We aimed to prospectively test the association between serum PGI/II ratio and risks of gastric noncardia adenocarcinoma, gastric cardia adenocarcinoma, and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Case-cohort study nested in a prospective cohort with over 15 years of follow-up.
Rural region of the People’s Republic of China.
Men and women aged 40-69 at study baseline.
Main outcome measures
Adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for the association between serum PGI/II ratio and caner risk
Compared to subjects with PGI/II ratio of > 4, those with ≤4 had HRs (95%CIs) of 2.72 (1.77-4.20) and 2.12 (1.42-3.16) for noncardia and cardia gastric cancers, respectively. Risk of both cancers were also increased when other cut points ranging from 3 to 6, or when we used quartile models, or nonlinear continuous models. Risk of ESCC was marginally increased in those with PGI/II ratio ≤4, with HR (95% CI) of 1.56 (0.99-2.47), but quartile models and continuous models showed no increased risk. The nonlinear continuous models suggested that any single cut point collapsed subjects with dissimilar gastric cancer risks, and that using cut points was not an efficient use of data in evaluating these associations.
In this prospective study, we found similar and significantly increased risks of noncardia and cardia gastric adenocarcinomas in subjects with low PGI/II ratio, but little evidence for an association with ESCC risk.
Gastric cancer; Esophageal cancer; Pepsinogen; Case-cohort
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) can induce gastric atrophy in humans, which in turn increases gastric cancer risk. Whether H. pylori and gastric atrophy also affect the risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), however, remains unresolved.
We performed a nested case-control study within the prospective ATBC Study to assess these relationships. The ATBC Study is composed of 29,133 Finnish male smokers, aged 50–69, who were recruited during 1985–1988. Using baseline sera, we assessed H. pylori status (via IgG antibodies against whole-cell and CagA antigens) and gastric atrophy status (via the biomarkers pepsinogen I (PGI) and II (PGII)) in 79 ESCC cases and 94 controls. Logistic regression with adjustment for age, date of blood draw, education, cigarette smoking, alcohol, body mass index, and fruit and vegetable intake was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI).
Gastric atrophy (PGI:PGII <4) was associated with ESCC (OR=4.58, 95%CI:2.00–10.48). There was no evidence for an association between H. pylori and ESCC (OR=0.94, 95%CI:0.40–2.24).
These results could be explained by misclassification of H. pylori status due to serologic amnesia, ESCC risk being dependent upon the functional consequences or interactions of H. pylori, rather than the infection per se, gastric atrophy having a different histogenesis in ESCC without being primarily dependent upon H. pylori acquisition, or a lack of statistical power to detect an effect.
Validation of these results may warrant mechanistic studies to determine the route of association between gastric atrophy and ESCC.
Atrophy; Esophageal Neoplasms; Helicobacter pylori; Nested Case-Control Studies; Pepsinogens; Prospective Studies
Oesophageal cancers rank as the eighth most common cancer and the sixth most common cause of cancer death, worldwide. Gastric atrophy, as determined by a low serum pepsinogen I/II ratio, may be associated with an increased risk of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Ghrelin, a hormone which, like pepsinogen, is produced in the fundic glands of the stomach, may be a sensitive and specific marker of gastric atrophy, but its association with OSCC is not known.
To examine the relationship between baseline serum ghrelin concentration and subsequent risk of OSCC, we conducted a nested case-control study within the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study. 82 cases of OSCC were matched (1:1) by age and date of blood draw to controls from the ATBC study. Serum ghrelin was measured by radioimmunoassay. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated using conditional logistic regression with adjustment for potential confounders.
For those individuals in the lowest quartile of serum ghrelin, compared to those in the highest, the multivariate odds ratio of subsequent OSCC was 6.83 (95% CI: 1.46, 31.84). These associations were dose dependent (P for trend = 0.005 for both), and independent of the effects of low pepsinogen I/II ratio (a marker of gastric fundic atrophy) and Helicobacter pylori infection. The significance of these associations remained even for individuals developing OSCC up to 10 years after baseline ghrelin measurement, though they become attenuated after 10 years.
Lower baseline concentrations of serum ghrelin were associated with an increase in risk of OSCC. Further studies are needed to confirm this finding in other populations and to explore the role of ghrelin in the aetiology of OSCC.
ghrelin; oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma; atrophy
The levels of pepsinogen (PG) I and the PGI/II ratio are useful serologic markers for chronic atrophic gastritis. This study evaluated the performance and clinical implications of these markers in patients undergoing endoscopic mucosectomy.
We enrolled 142 consecutive patients with early gastric tumors and Helicobacter pylori infection who were eligible for mucosectomy. Chronic gastritis and atrophy were assessed using four defined biopsy procedures. Serum PGs were measured by an enzyme immunoassay. Optimal diagnostic cut-offs and performance were determined using receiver operating characteristic curves.
The PGI level and the PGI/II ratio decreased with corpus-dominant gastritis and as atrophy advanced toward the corpus greater curvature (GC). For the presence of corpus GC atrophy, the areas under the PGI and PGI/II-ratio curves were 0.82 and 0.77, respectively. The optimal cut-off levels were 59.3µg/L for PGI (sensitivity, 83.3%; specificity, 78.4%) and 3.6µg/L for PGI/II ratio (sensitivity, 70.0%; specificity, 78.4%). Using these serologic cut-off levels, we found that the frequency of corpus tumor location differed significantly (32.9% vs 11.1% for PGI <59.3 and ≥59.3µg/L, respectively; and 31.1% vs 14.8% for PGI/II ratio <3.5 and ≥3.5, respectively; p<0.05).
A low PGI level and PGI/II ratio are valuable serologic markers for predicting corpus GC atrophy, and have clinical implications with respect to the corpus location of tumors in mucosectomy patients.
Pepsinogens; Atrophic gastritis; Stomach neoplasia; Helicobacter pylori; Endoscopy
To establish optimal cutoff values for serologic diagnosis of fundic atrophy in a high-risk area for oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma and gastric cancer with high prevalence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) in Northern Iran, we performed an endoscopy-room-based validation study.
We measured serum pepsinogens I (PGI) and II (PGII), gastrin 17 (G-17), and antibodies against whole H. pylori, or cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA) antigen among 309 consecutive patients in two major endoscopy clinics in northeastern Iran. Updated Sydney System was used as histology gold standard. Areas under curves (AUCs), optimal cutoff and predictive values were calculated for serum biomarkers against the histology.
309 persons were recruited (mean age: 63.5 years old, 59.5% female). 84.5% were H. pylori positive and 77.5% were CagA positive. 21 fundic atrophy and 101 nonatrophic pangastritis were diagnosed. The best cutoff values in fundic atrophy assessment were calculated at PGI<56 µg/l (sensitivity: 61.9%, specificity: 94.8%) and PGI/PGII ratio<5 (sensitivity: 75.0%, specificity: 91.0%). A serum G-17<2.6 pmol/l or G-17>40 pmol/l was 81% sensitive and 73.3% specific for diagnosing fundic atrophy. At cutoff concentration of 11.8 µg/l, PGII showed 84.2% sensitivity and 45.4% specificity to distinguish nonatrophic pangastritis. Exclusion of nonatrophic pangastritis enhanced diagnostic ability of PGI/PGII ratio (from AUC = 0.66 to 0.90) but did not affect AUC of PGI. After restricting study samples to those with PGII<11.8, the sensitivity of using PGI<56 to define fundic atrophy increased to 83.3% (95%CI 51.6–97.9) and its specificity decreased to 88.8% (95%CI 80.8–94.3).
Among endoscopy clinic patients, PGII is a sensitive marker for extension of nonatrophic gastritis toward the corpus. PGI is a stable biomarker in assessment of fundic atrophy and has similar accuracy to PGI/PGII ratio among populations with prevalent nonatrophic pangastritis.
The incidence of gastric cancer is very high in Japan, Korea, and China. Reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with gastric cancer requires early diagnosis, which can be facilitated by applying gastroscopy more frequently in high-risk groups. A strategy of population screening for gastric cancer is currently being adopted in Korea, Japan, and the Matsu region of Taiwan, but using different screening methods. In addition, the history of pepsinogen (PG) in research as a gastric cancer biomarker has varied, in that the use of serum levels of PGI and PGII and the PGI/PGII ratio as gastric cancer screening tools was introduced in Japan before 1990, but in Korea the first research results were only reported in 2008. This review first evaluates the physiology of PG, followed by the usefulness or limitations of serum PG testing with regard to the detection of gastric cancer. Finally, the factors affecting the efficacy of PG tests as a gastric cancer biomarker (i.e., Helicobacter pylori infection status, gender, histopathologic features, and cancer location and depth) are evaluated. It was found that the strategies used to increase the efficacy of PG tests should be individualized in each country according to the seroprevalence of H. pylori.
Pepsinogen; Gastric cancer; Atrophic gastritis; Helicobacter pylori
A cohort of individuals (n = 136) with lesions as severe as atrophic chronic gastritis (ACG) was cross-sectionally evaluated for the validity assessment of pepsinogen I (PGI) and pepsinogen II (PGII) serum levels for the diagnosis of intestinal metaplasia (IM) and gastric dysplasia. PGI/PGII ratio [median (range)] was 4 (0.5–7.5) in patients with ACG (n = 35); 4.6 (1.9–6.8) in type I IM (n = 18); 4.2 (1.4–5.9) in type II or type III IM limited to the antrum and incisura (n = 20); 2.4 (0.4–5.6) in extensive incomplete IM (n = 38); and 1.3 (0.4–6.4) in low-grade dysplasia (n = 23) (P = .002). Using histopathologic data as a reference test, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (CI 95%) was 0.73 (0.64–0.82) for extensive IM, 0.72 (0.58–0.85) for the diagnosis of dysplasia, and 0.81 (0.66–0.95) for the diagnosis of high-grade dysplasia. Using a PGI/PGII ratio of ≤3 as the cutoff for dysplasia diagnosis, the sensitivity was 70% (62–78%), the specificity was 65% (57–73%), and the negative predictive value estimates were over 90%. No differences in PG levels according to age or gender were observed. Helicobacter pylori did not significantly influence validity measurement estimates. PGI/PGII serum level ratio can be used even in the management of patients with a high a priori probability for a positive test. It may be useful for the exclusion of more advanced lesions (extensive IM and neoplastic lesions).
Pepsinogens; stomach neoplasms; receiver operating characteristic curve; disease management; precancerous conditions
Serological markers of gastritis, like pepsinogen A, pepsinogen C, gastrin, and Helicobacter pylori antibodies, can be used to explore the state of the gastric mucosa in populations with contrasting cancer risks. A decreasing pepsinogen A:C ratio and an increasing serum gastrin are known to reflect an increasing severity of atrophic corpus gastritis, which is a precursor of gastric cancer. In 723 subjects (without gastroduodenal surgery) from Japanese (n = 225) and Dutch (n = 498) working populations, which had a similar composition of age (mean 48 years), sex (male to female ratio 6:1), and type of occupation, fasting serum samples were analysed for IgG antibodies to H pylori, pepsinogen A, pepsinogen C, and gastrin in the same laboratory. H pylori infection was significantly more prevalent in the Japanese than in the Dutch (74.7% and 31.3%); as was a very low pepsinogen A, indicative of severe mucosal atrophy (4.4% and 1.6%). Among subjects with and without severe mucosal atrophy the H pylori seropositivity rate was similar. Between the Japanese and the Dutch there were significant differences in mean gastrin (31.8 and 13.4 pmol/l) and pepsinogen A:C ratio (1.7 and 2.9). These intercountry differences were as great for H pylori negative subjects (gastrin: 23.7 and 10.3 pmol/l, pepsinogen A:C ratio: 2.4 and 3.2) as for H pylori positive subjects (gastrin: 34.6 and 20.1 pmol/l, pepsinogen A:C ratio: 1.5 and 2.5). The intercountry difference in gastrin nearly disappeared after stratification into categories of pepsinogen A:C ratio. In conclusion, the intercountry differences in pepsinogen A:C ratio and gastrin reflect a higher prevalence of mild and severe mucosal atrophy of the corpus in the Japanese than in the Dutch, both among H pylori positive and negative subjects. Thus, these findings suggest that in the Japanese the development of atrophic gastritis is in part unrelated to H pylori.
characteristics of pepsinogen screening for gastric cancer were
investigated to establish a suitable cut off point for identifying
gastric cancer, using endoscopic diagnosis as the yardstick.
pepsinogen concentrations were measured in 5113 subjects who were also
screened for gastric cancer by endoscopy. The cut off point for
pepsinogen was determined using receiver operator characteristics curves.
suitable cut off point was a pepsinogen I concentration of less than 70 ng/ml and a ratio of pepsinogen I to pepsinogen II of less than 3.0. Using this cut off point, the sensitivity and specificity of pepsinogen
screening for gastric cancer were 84.6% and 73.5% respectively. All
cases of gastric cancer in patients with severe atrophic gastritis were
detected. However, two of four cases of gastric cancer in patients with mild atrophic gastritis were overlooked. In subjects with mild atrophic
gastritis, when gastric cancer arises within the fundic gland region,
the size of the lesion determines whether it is possible to detect
cancer by serum pepsinogen screening.
screening has many advantages, including its suitability for
combination with other screening methods because it is simple and inexpensive.
pepsinogen; gastric cancer; screening; cut off
point; receiver operator characteristics curves; atrophic gastritis
Hypopepsinogenaemia A is often found in patients with gastric atrophy and gastric surgery. In these conditions serum pepsinogen C provides additional diagnostic information, especially when expressed as pepsinogen A:C ratio. Hyperpepsinogenaemia A has been shown in patients with duodenal ulcer disease, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, hypertrophic gastropathy, chronic renal failure, and during omeprazole treatment. As patients with hyperpepsinogenaemia A often overlap in symptoms, endoscopical findings, and serum gastrin values, this study has evaluated whether measurement of serum pepsinogen C in subjects with hyperpepsinogenaemia A can help in differentiating clinical conditions. Serum concentrations of pepsinogen A and C were measured in serologically Helicobacter pylori negative blood transfusion donors (127) as reference population, and in patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (24), duodenal ulcer (50), hypertrophic gastropathy (5), and chronic renal failure (50), and also in reflux oesophagitis patients on longterm omeprazole treatment (28). A low pepsinogen A:C ratio was found in all patients with hypertrophic gastropathy. A pepsinogen A:C ratio above the critical value of 4.7 was found in 14 (70.0%) of the Zollinger-Ellison patients, two (9.5%) of the duodenal ulcer patients, 11 (25.6%) of the patients with chronic renal failure, and in one (7.1%) of the patients receiving longterm omeprazole treatment. In fact, all but three hyperpepsinogenaemia A patients with a pepsinogen A:C ratio greater than 4.7 and normal renal function had the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. In patients with hyperpepsinogenaemia A, a low pepsinogen A:C ratio may point to hypertrophic gastropathy, while a pepsinogen A:C ratio greater than 4.7 is suggestive for the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
BACKGROUND—The relationship between Helicobacter pylori and reflux oesophagitis remains controversial.
AIMS—To evaluate the relationship between H pylori and reflux oesophagitis in a large number of Japanese subjects.
SUBJECTS—A total of 5732 consecutive Japanese subjects during a health screening were enrolled.
METHODS—Gastrointestinal endoscopy was performed on all subjects. We simultaneously measured serum anti-H pylori antibody and pepsinogen as markers of H pylori infection together with gastric atrophy. The risk of reflux oesophagitis was evaluated in relation to these markers, and the results were compared with those of gastric cancer.
RESULTS—Reflux oesophagitis was found in 108 subjects. Both positivity for H pylori antibody (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.67 (95% confidence interval 0.45-1.0)) and "low" pepsinogen indicating gastric atrophy (OR 0.35 (0.18-0.68)) were negatively associated with reflux oesophagitis. After subjects were classified into four groups based on positivity or negativity for H pylori antibody and "low" pepsinogen, the prevalence of reflux oesophagitis showed a decreasing trend as H pylori induced gastric atrophy became more severe. The risk of gastric cancer showed an increasing trend, exactly the opposite to that of reflux oesophagitis.
CONCLUSIONS—Analysis of a large series of Japanese subjects revealed a decreasing prevalence of reflux oesophagitis in conjunction with progress of gastric atrophy induced by H pylori infection. This pattern was completely opposite to that of gastric cancer cases. A protective role of H pylori for reflux oesophagitis through the development of gastric atrophy has been suggested.
Keywords: Helicobacter pylori; oesophagitis; gastro-oesophageal reflux disease; atrophic gastritis; gastric cancer
We determined the effect of postgastrectomy gastritis on serum pepsinogen I and pepsinogen II concentrations in 108 subjects with subtotal gastric resection. Eleven had normal remnant mucosa, 22 had superficial gastritis, and 75 had atrophic gastritis. In the subjects with superficial gastritis, serum pepsinogen I and II concentrations were significantly higher than in those with normal remnant mucosa, but the ratio of pepsinogen I to II did not differ from normal. In atrophic gastritis, serum pepsinogen I concentrations fell with increasing severity of mucosal damage, but pepsinogen II was persistently raised. Consequently, the ratio of pepsinogen I to II in subjects with atrophic gastritis was significantly lower than in those with superficial gastritis or normal remnant mucosa. Discriminant function analysis revealed that the ratio of pepsinogen I to II, in combination with the absolute level of pepsinogen II, had a sensitivity of 80%, a specificity of 73%, and a positive predictive value of 87% for atrophic gastritis in this population. We propose that the parallel increase in serum pepsinogen I and II concentrations in postgastrectomy superficial gastritis is because of an increased rate of endocrine release of both zymogens from the fundic glands, and that the dichotomy in pepsinogen I and II concentrations in postgastrectomy atrophic gastritis results from the loss of fundic glands, which produce both zymogens, and the appearance of metaplastic pyloric glands, which produce only pepsinogen II.
Squamous dysplasia is the precursor lesion for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), and nutritional factors play an important role in the etiology of this cancer. Previous studies using a variety of measures of vitamin D exposure have reached different conclusions about the association between vitamin D and risk of developing esophageal cancer.
We measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations in a cross-sectional analysis of 720 subjects from Linxian, China, a population at high risk for developing ESCC. All subjects underwent endoscopy and biopsy and were categorized by presence or absence of histologic squamous dysplasia. We used crude and multivariate adjusted generalized linear models to estimate the relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between squamous dysplasia and sex-specific quartiles of serum 25(OH)D concentration.
Two hundred and thirty (32%) of 720 subjects had squamous dysplasia. Subjects with dysplasia had significantly higher median serum 25(OH)D concentrations then subjects without dysplasia, 36.5 and 31.5 nmol/L respectively (Wilcoxon two-sample test p = 0.0004). In multivariate adjusted models, subjects in the highest compared to the lowest quartile were at significantly increased risk of squamous dysplasia, RR (95% CI) = 1.86 (1.35–2.62). Increased risks were similar when examined in men and women separately: Men RR (95% CI) = 1.74 (1.08–2.93); Women RR (95% CI) = 1.96 (1.28–3.18).
Higher serum 25(OH)D concentration was associated with significantly increased risk of squamous dysplasia. No obvious source of measured or unmeasured confounding explains this finding.
Esophageal cancer; Squamous dysplasia; Vitamin D; Serum 25(OH)D; China
The presence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection represents a high-risk state of gastric cancer, but the risk is even higher in gastric atrophy. H. pylori stool antigen (HpSA) and serum pepsinogen (PG) tests are useful tools for screening present infection and gastric atrophy, respectively. To determine the prevalence of subjects at a high risk (HpSA+ or PG+) or very high risk (PG+) of gastric cancer in Japan, we applied the two tests to a general population.
The subjects included 311 volunteers. We used Meridian HpSA ELISA for the HpSA test and Pepsinogen RIA Beads for the PG test. PG I at ≤70 µg/L and I/II ratio of ≤3.0 were used as cutoffs for PG-test positivity.
Positivity rates in HpSA and PG tests significantly increased with age in those younger than 60 years and in all age groups, respectively. The proportions of HpSA-/PG- and HpSA+/PG+ sujects decreased and increased with age, respectively. A small proportion of HpSA-/PG+ subjects were older than 40 years. The prevalence of subjects who were either HpSA+ or PG+ increased with age (>50% of those older than 40 years). Half of the subjects older than 60 years were PG+.
In Japan, more than 50% of general population aged ≥40 years is at a high risk of gastric cancer, and half of the population aged ≥60 years is at a very high risk.
Helicobacter pylori; Stool antigen; Pepsinogen; Gastric cancer screening; Epidemiology
AIMS: To clarify the relation between the serum titre of anti-Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) antibody and the extent of intestinal metaplasia of the gastric mucosa. METHODS: The serum anti-H pylori IgG titres of 95 asymptomatic individuals (mean age 65 years) undergoing an annual health examination were measured and compared with the extent of intestinal metaplasia (absent, moderate, or extensive), determined by examination of multiple endoscopic mucosal biopsy specimens. Serum pepsinogen I (PGI) levels, as a marker for gastric atrophy, were also measured. RESULTS: The prevalence of seropositivity for H pylori antibody was high (> 80%), regardless of the extent of metaplasia. However, there was a negative association between the extent of metaplasia and the anti-H pylori titre: 75% of the subjects in the group without metaplasia had high (3+) antibody levels, as did 43% with moderate, and 37% with extensive metaplasia (absent v extensive). The inverse relation between the titre and the extent of metaplasia was evident when examined in those with normal PGI (> 30 ng/ml), whereas no such relation was apparent in subjects with low PGI (< or = 30 ng/ml). CONCLUSIONS: The anti-H pylori titre correlates inversely with the extent of intestinal metaplasia, particularly in subjects with less marked gastric atrophy.
Determination of the serum pepsinogen level is simple and the method gives consistent results. The serum pepsinogen level remains steady when the stomach is actively secreting pepsin. Age and sex do not greatly affect the serum pepsinogen concentration.
Serum pepsinogen levels can be correlated with the histological appearances of the gastric mucosa. The parietal cells appear to be more sensitive to injury than the chief cells. The serum pepsinogen levels of patients with pernicious anaemia are very low.
Estimation of the serum pepsinogen level is likely to prove a useful screening test for severe atrophic gastritis and gastric atrophy.
Iodine concentrates in gastric tissue and may act as an antioxidant for the stomach. We previously showed that self-reported goiter was associated with significantly increased risk of gastric noncardia adenocarcinoma (GNCA) and non-significantly increased risks of gastric cardia adenocarcinoma (GCA) and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) in a prospective case-cohort study in a high-risk population in China. Negatively correlated with iodine levels, serum thyroglobulin (Tg) is a more sensitive biomarker of iodine deficiency than goiter. This study aimed to determine whether baseline serum Tg was also associated with development of GNCA, GCA, and ESCC in the same cohort, the Linxian General Population Nutrition Intervention Trial. Sera from approximately 200 subjects of each case type and 400 non-cases were tested for serum Tg concentration using appropriate assays. Tg was modeled as sex- and assay-specific quartiles in Cox regression models adjusted for age, smoking, alcohol, Helicobacter pylori status, pepsinogens I/II ratio, family history, and commune of residence. In the final combined analysis, participants in the highest quartile of serum Tg, compared to those in the lowest quartile, had adjusted Hazard Ratios of 0.88 (95% confidence interval 0.50–1.52), 1.14 (0.63–2.05), and 0.78 (0.47–1.31) for GNCA, GCA, and ESCC, respectively. Using serum Tg, a sensitive biomarker of iodine deficiency, we found no association between serum Tg concentrations and risk of these upper gastrointestinal (UGI) cancers in the study population. Our results do not support the hypothesis that iodine deficiency, as assessed by serum Tg, is associated with an increased risk of UGI cancers.
iodine deficiency; esophageal cancer; gastric cancer; thyroglobulin; China
AIMS--To investigate the immunohistochemical expression and the serum concentrations of pepsinogen I and II in different histological types of gastric cancer as compared with other gastric disorders. METHODS--Formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded tissue specimens of 38 gastric cancers obtained from surgical cases were used for the immunohistochemical studies performed with the avidin-biotin complex method using monoclonal antibodies against purified pepsinogen I and II. Pepsinogen concentrations from serum obtained from the above patients, from patients with various other gastric disorders, and from normal controls were measured with a rapid non-radioactive one step enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). RESULTS--Eight of 38 (21%) and seven of 38 (18%) gastric carcinomas showed immunoreactivity to pepsinogen I and pepsinogen II, respectively, without any correlation to histological classification or differentiation. Decreased pepsinogen I concentrations and low pepsinogen I:II ratios were found specifically in cases of gastric carcinoma and polyp, in good accordance with the immunohistochemical results. CONCLUSIONS--Low serum pepsinogen I concentrations and a low pepsinogen I:II ratio are predictive of gastric neoplasia, correlating with low tissue immunoreactivity to monoclonal antibodies raised against pepsinogen I and II. For mass screening of gastric disease including carcinoma, ELISA using a one step immunoassay performed in the present study is a rapid and reliable non-radioactive method of detecting serum pepsinogen. In addition, immunohistochemical studies showed that pepsinogen production may be increased or diminished as a result of tumour histogenesis, depending on the area of origin and the processes of cell transformation and dedifferentiation.
AIM: To investigate screening makers for gastric cancer, we assessed the association between gastric cancer and serum pepsinogens (PGs).
METHODS: The subjects comprised 450 patients with gastric cancer, 111 individuals with gastric atrophy, and 961 healthy controls. Serum anti-Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) immunoglobulin G (IgG), PGIand PG II were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Gastric atrophy and gastric cancer were diagnosed by endoscopy and histopathological examinations. Odds ratios and 95%CIs were calculated using multivariate logistic regression.
RESULTS: Rates of H. pylori infection remained high in Northeastern China. Rates of H. pylori IgG positivity were greater in the gastric cancer and gastric atrophy groups compared to the control group (69.1% and 75.7% vs 49.7%, P < 0.001). Higher levels of PG II (15.9 μg/L and 13.9 μg/L vs 11.5 μg/L, P < 0.001) and lower PGI/PG II ratio (5.4 and 4.6 vs 8.4, P < 0.001) were found in patients with gastric cancer or gastric atrophy compared to healthy controls, whereas no correlation was found between the plasma PGIconcentration and risk of gastric cancer (P = 0.537). In addition, multivariate logistic analysis indicated that H. pylori infection and atrophic gastritis were independent risk factors for gastric cancer. Lower plasma PGI/PG II ratio was associated with higher risks of atrophy and gastric cancer. Furthermore, plasma PG II level significantly correlated with H. pylori-infected gastric cancer.
CONCLUSION: Serum PG II concentration and PGI/PG II ratio are potential biomarkers for H. pylori-infected gastric disease. PG II is independently associated with risk of gastric cancer.
Gastric cancer; Pepsinogens; Helicobacter pylori; Gastric atrophy; Screening
The incidence of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is very high in northern China. This cancer has a very poor prognosis, mostly because it is usually diagnosed at a late stage. Detection an earlier stage can dramatically improve prognosis. Microscopic evaluation of esophageal balloon cytology (EBC) specimens has been the most common method for early detection of ESCC, but this technique is limited by low sensitivity and specificity. The use of molecular markers may improve these screening characteristics. This study evaluates whether measurement of gene methylation in EBC specimens may have utility for the detection of esophageal squamous dysplasia and early ESCC. We evaluated the presence of methylation in eight genes shown to be methylated in ESCC in previous studies in EBC specimens from 147 patients with endoscopic biopsy diagnoses ranging from normal mucosa through severe squamous dysplasia. Methylation status was determined using quantitative methylation-specific PCR techniques. The sensitivity and specificity of methylation of each individual gene and combinations of these genes to detect biopsy-proven high-grade (moderate or severe) squamous dysplasia was determined. For individual genes, the sensitivities ranged from 9–34% and the specificities ranged from 77–99%. Using a panel of four genes (AHRR, p16INK4a, MT1G, and CLDN3) resulted in sensitivity and specificity of 50% and 68%, respectively. This study suggests that evaluation of gene methylation in EBC samples may have utility for early detection of esophageal squamous dysplasia and early ESCC, however, identification of more sensitive methylation markers will be required for development of a clinically useful screening test.
gene methylation; early detection; cytology; esophageal squamous cell cancer
This study aimed to estimate the prevalence and type of chronic gastritis in an asymptomatic working population and to determine whether a combination of serum pepsinogen levels and Helicobacter pylori serology could be used to identify a subgroup with atrophic gastritis at elevated risk of gastric carcinoma. A 10% subsample of 544 male volunteer factory workers aged 18-63 years and participating in a larger study underwent endoscopy and biopsy. Of these men, 29 were seropositive for Helicobacter pylori; all but three (89.7%) had chronic gastritis. Serum pepsinogen A levels increased with progression from a corpus predominant pattern of gastritis through pangastritis to an antral predominant pattern. Nine subjects had corpus atrophy, which was in most cases accompanied by fasting hypochlorhydria and hypergastrinaemia. A combination of pepsinogen A below 80 ng ml-1 and Helicobaceter pylori seropositivity detected corpus atrophy with sensitivity 88.9% and specificity 92.3%. A second screening stage, using a pepsinogen A/C ratio of below 2.5 as a cut-off, resulted in a reduction in numbers requiring further investigation but with some loss of sensitivity (77.8%). Application of this two-stage screening programme to the original sample of 544 workers would have resulted in 11 (2.2%) men being selected for follow-up, excluding 25 (5.1%) false negatives. Our results suggest that a combination of serum pepsinogen levels and Helicobacter pylori serology could be useful as a biomarker strategy for detection of individuals at increased risk of gastric carcinoma and for non-invasive investigation of the natural history of Helicobacter pylori gastritis.
Aim. Chronic gastritis was assessed serologically, endoscopically and histologically to identify correlations between these methods. Methods. Subjects comprised 319 patients who had provided informed consent. Serological assessment of chronic gastritis was based on the pepsinogen test method. Endoscopic gastritis and histological gastritis were assessed and scored according to the Kimura-Takemoto classification system and the updated Sydney classification system respectively, and correlations between these three methods were studied. Results. Pepsinogen I/II ratio showed a significant correlation to the extent of mononuclear cell infiltration of the gastric corpus. When histological gastritis was divided, on the basis of the distribution of mononuclear cell infiltration, into gastritis limited to the antrum and corpus gastritis, these types were distinguished with high accuracy using a pepsinogen I/II ratio of 3 as the cutoff. A good correlation was also seen between pepsinogen I/II ratio and development of atrophy in endoscopic gastritis, where groups with and without advanced atrophy were also distinguished with high accuracy using a cutoff value of 3. Conclusion. Significant correlations exist between serum pepsinogen levels, endoscopic gastritis, and histological gastritis. Pepsinogen I/II ratio allows prediction of the existence of endoscopic gastritis and histological gastritis, or the extent of their development, with high accuracy.
Serum levels of pepsinogen and gastrin are parameters that can be used as biomarkers for gastric mucosa. The aim of this study was to validate these serum biomarkers, that is pepsinogen A (PGA), pepsinogen C (PGC), PGA/PGC ratio, and gastrin, as screening tests for precancerous lesions: atrophic chronic gastritis (ACG) or Helicobacter pylori-related corpus-predominant or multifocal atrophy. The study population was comprised of a subsample of 284 patients from the 451 included in the Eurohepygast cohort, between 1995 and 1997. The concentrations of PGA, PGC, and gastrin were measured by radioimmunoassays. Histological diagnosis was the gold standard. Cut-off points were calculated using receiving operator characteristics (ROC) curves. Factors linked to variation of biomarkers were identified using multivariate linear regression. The mean of each biomarker in the sample was: PGA, 77.4 μg l−1; PGC, 13.2 μg l−1; PGA/PGC, 6.7; and gastrin, 62.4 ng l−1. For ACG patients, the areas under the PGA, PGC, PGA/PGC, and gastrin ROC curves were 0.55, 0.62, 0.73, and 0.58, respectively. The best cut-off point for PGA/PGC was 5.6, with sensitivity 65% and specificity 77.9%. For H. pylori-related corpus-predominant or multifocal atrophy, the areas under the respective ROC curves were 0.57, 0.67, 0.84, and 0.69. The best cut-off point for PGA/PGC was 4.7, with sensitivity 77.1% and specificity 87.4%. The results suggested that only the PGA/PGC ratio can be considered as a biomarker for precancerous lesions of the stomach, and may be useful as a screening test.
Helicobacter pylori; atrophic gastritis; pepsinogen; diagnosis; biomarkers
Background and aim: Helicobacter pylori infection and gastric atrophy are both risk factors for gastric cancer. We aimed to elucidate the natural history of gastric cancer development according to H pylori infection and gastric atrophy status.
Subjects and methods: A total of 9293 participants in a mass health appraisal programme were candidates for inclusion in the present prospective cohort study: 6983 subjects revisited the follow up programme. Subjects were classified into four groups according to serological status at initial endoscopy. Group A (n = 3324) had “normal” pepsinogen and were negative for H pylori antibody; group B (n = 2134) had “normal” pepsinogen and were positive for H pylori antibody; group C (n = 1082) had “atrophic” pepsinogen and were positive for H pylori antibody; and group D (n = 443) had “atrophic” pepsinogen and were negative for H pylori antibody. Incidence of gastric cancer was determined by annual endoscopic examination.
Results: Mean duration of follow up was 4.7 years and the average number of endoscopic examinations was 5.1. The annual incidence of gastric cancer was 0.04% (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.02–0.09), 0.06% (0.03–0.13), 0.35% (0.23–0.57), and 0.60% (0.34–1.05) in groups A, B, C, and D, respectively. Hazard ratios compared with group A were 1.1 (95% CI 0.4–3.4), 6.0 (2.4–14.5), and 8.2 (3.2–21.5) in groups B, C, and D, respectively. Age, sex, and “group” significantly served as independent valuables by multivariate analysis.
Conclusions: The combination of serum pepsinogen and anti-H pylori antibody provides a good predictive marker for the development of gastric cancer.
gastric cancer; Helicobacter pylori; pepsinogen; endoscopy; screening
Atrophic gastritis is characterized by chronic inflammation of gastric mucosa by Helicobacter pylori infection and other factors. Helicobacter pylori infection has been linked to coronary artery disease. To our knowledge, however, no reports are available on the relationship between atrophic gastritis and coronary artery disease. In this study, we investigated the relationship between atrophic gastritis, which is diagnosed based on serum pepsinogen levels (pepsinogen I ≤ 70 ng/mL and pepsinogen I/II ratio ≤ 3.0), and the prevalence of coronary artery disease in general Japanese population. Among 2,633 study subjects, 531 subjects (20.2%) were diagnosed as atrophic gastritis. The prevalence of coronary artery disease was higher in the atrophic gastritis-positive group than that in the atrophic gastritis-negative group (5.8% vs 2.8%, p = 0.0005). Multiple logistic regression analysis demonstrated that atrophic gastritis was independently associated with coronary artery disease (odds ratio, 1.67; 95% confidence interval, 1.03–2.72), after adjustment for age, sex, obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, hyperuricemia, and habits of smoking and drinking. These results suggest that atrophic gastritis is an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease. Chronic inflammation of gastric mucosa may be associated with the prevalence of coronary artery disease.
atrophic gastritis; pepsinogen; chronic inflammation; coronary artery disease