Active autoimmune gastritis without total atrophy of the glands

Z Gastroenterol. 1992 Oct;30(10):729-35.


To date, autoimmune gastritis has been diagnosed for the most part only when total atrophy of the oxyntic glands is detected. On the basis of 40 patients without total atrophy of the glands, and with parietal cell antibodies in the serum, we show that the diagnosis of type A gastritis is also possible in the pre-atrophic stage. The histological criteria for the diagnosis of active autoimmune gastritis without total atrophy of the glands are 1. usually dense, diffuse locally emphasized lymphocytic infiltration of the lamina propria between the glands in the oxyntic mucosa, 2. focal destruction of individual glands in the corpus of the stomach by lymphocytes, and 3. reactive pseudohypertrophy of the parietal cells. A comparison with a group of patients with autoimmune gastritis and total atrophy of the glands shows that in active autoimmune gastritis, too, women are more frequently affected than men (in both groups, the sex ratio is approximately 3:1). Patients without atrophy of the glands are, on average, about 12 years younger than those with "burnt out" type A gastritis (average age 69.98:57.80 years). While in the case of burnt out type A gastritis, no colonisation with Helicobacter pylori was to be found, such colonisation was demonstrated for the corpus mucosa in 22.5%, and for the antral mucosa in 15.0%. In 27.5% a minimal or low-grade inactive superficial gastritis, as may be seen after eradication of Helicobacter pylori, was additionally diagnosed in the antrum. A knowledge of the histological appearance of the pre-atrophic stage of type A gastritis might be of importance for the possible prevention of pernicious anaemia.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autoantibodies / analysis*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / pathology*
  • Female
  • Gastric Mucosa / immunology
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology*
  • Gastritis, Atrophic / immunology
  • Gastritis, Atrophic / pathology*
  • Helicobacter Infections / immunology
  • Helicobacter Infections / pathology
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy
  • Male
  • Metaplasia
  • Middle Aged
  • Parietal Cells, Gastric / immunology
  • Parietal Cells, Gastric / pathology*


  • Autoantibodies