Background: It has long been suspected that duodenogastric reflux plays a role in the pathogenesis of intestinal metaplasia (IM), although recent studies have demonstrated a close association between Helicobacter pylori infection and gastroduodenal diseases, including IM. The objective of this study was to investigate the relation among IM and duodenogastric reflux, H pylori infection, and smoking.
Methods: Subjects with "marked" characteristics of IM, all with extensive prepyloric distribution at endoscopy that was confirmed histologically, were studied as an IM group (27 men, 26 women; mean age, 64 years). A control group was comprised by subjects without characteristics of IM (29 men, 28 women; mean age, 63 years). Fasting pH, total bile acid concentration, and ammonia concentration were measured in the gastric juice of all participants. Histologic examination endoscopic biopsy specimens were evaluated histologically. H pylori infection was determined by serum antibody and urease testing, and by histology. Serum gastrin and pepsinogen concentrations, and gastric emptying time were measured. Dietary, drinking, and smoking habits were recorded. Comparisons were made between groups and analyzed statistically.
Results: The pH and total bile acid concentrations were significantly higher in the IM group than the control group (p < 0.01). No significant difference in H pylori infection was found between the IM and control group. Smoking was associated with IM (odds ratio [OR], 15.74; 95% CI, 3.96 to 62.50).
Conclusions: A high pH and total bile acid concentration and smoking were associated with "marked" IM, suggesting that these factors may play a role in the development of IM.