Background and aims: The aim of this study was to clarify the endoscopic features of the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)-free stomach by examining the arrangement of minute points visible on the corpus. Since these points were clarified by magnifying endoscopy as collecting venules, this finding was termed 'regular arrangement of collecting venules (RAC)'. The findings from more endoscopic studies are presented and the differences between magnified views of the normal and H. pylori-infected corpus and antrum are described in particular.
Methods: The study group consisted of 557 patients who were subjected to endoscopy and checked for H. pylori. The RAC in each patient was assessed. Magnifying endoscopy in 301 patients was used to examine the corpus and in 94 patients to examine the antrum.
Results: One hundred and fifty-eight patients had normal stomachs without H. pylori. We diagnosed 389 patients with H. pylori gastritis. In 10 patients H. pylori was not detected, but inflammation was present. Of the 158 patients with H. pylori-negative normal stomachs, 151 had RAC. As a determinant of the normal stomach without H. pylori infection, the presence of RAC had 93.8% sensitivity and 96.2% specificity. All 30 patients with H. pylori-negative normal stomachs had a well-defined ridge pattern (wDRP) on the antrum as observed under magnifying endoscopy. As a determinant of the normal stomach without H. pylori infection, wDRP had a specificity of 100%, but a sensitivity of only 54.5%.
Conclusions: The presence of RAC is characteristic of a normal stomach without H. pylori. Magnified views of the normal antrum were different from that of the normal corpus.