Aim: To evaluate the accuracy of antrum nodularity and the regular arrangement of collecting venules for diagnosing Helicobacter pylori gastritis.
Methods: Ninety-nine consecutive children and adolescents (1.07 years-17.69 years, mean+/-S.D.=9.71+/-3.80 F:M 54:45) undergoing upper digestive endoscopy were assessed for the presence of antrum nodularity and regular arrangement of collecting venules pattern to determine the status of H. pylori infection. Antrum nodularity was observed by a tangential view of the greater curvature of the gastric antrum. Regular arrangement of collecting venules was visualized as being the regular pattern of red points evaluated with a standard endoscope. Two biopsies from the antrum were collected for histology and rapid urease test. The accuracy of diagnosis based on antrum nodularity and regular arrangement of collecting venules was evaluated considering the sensitivity, specificity and likelihood ratio.
Results: H. pylori was detected in 32/99 patients (32.3%). Antrum nodularity provided 59.4% sensitivity (95% confidence interval 50.7-68.1), 98.5% specificity (95% confidence interval: 97-100), likelihood ratio+ 39.78, and likelihood ratio- 0.41. A regular arrangement of collecting venules pattern provided 96.9% sensitivity (95% confidence interval: 93.8-100), 88.1% specificity (95% confidence interval: 84.1-92), likelihood ratio+ 8.11, and likelihood ratio- 0.04.
Conclusion: Antrum nodularity is a specific finding, although its sensitivity is low. A regular arrangement of collecting venules pattern and the absence of antrum nodularity are highly indicative of normal gastric mucosa that is negative for Helicobacter pylori.