The state of the gastric antral and the fundic mucosa was examined by gastroscopic biopsy in randomly selected 16-69-year-old subjects of a rural medical district. Fundic gastritis was found in 45% of the series, being superficial in 25% and atrophic in 20%. Antral gastritis occurred in 68%, being superficial in 39% and atrophic in 29%. The occurrence of antral gastritis was more frequent (XZ=15.25; df=1; p less than 0.001) than that of fundic gastritis. Antral gastritis and normal fundic mucosa were found in 32% and isolated fundic gastritis in 10% of the series. In the cases in which gastritis had affected both gastric regions, the changes quite often reflected different stages of the disease. The fundic and antral mucosae were normal only in 22% of the subjects examined.