Background: Intestinal-type gastric cancer (GC) still ranks among the high-incidence, highly lethal malignancies. Atrophic gastritis is the cancerization field in which GC develops. The current histological reporting formats for gastritis do not include any (atrophy-based) ranking of GC risk.
Aim: To test the gastritis OLGA-staging (Operative Link for Gastritis Assessment) in prognosticating neoplastic progression.
Methods: Ninety-three Italian patients were followed up for more than 12 years (range: 144-204 months). Clinical examinations, pepsinogen serology, endoscopy and histology (also assessing Helicobacter pylori status) were performed both at enrolment (T1) and at the end of the follow-up (T2).
Results: All invasive or intra-epithelial gastric neoplasia were consistently associated with high-risk (III/IV) OLGA stages. There was a significant inverse correlation between the mean pepsinogen ratio and the OLGA stage (test for trend; P < 0.001). OLGA-staging at T1 predicted both the OLGA stage (Kaplan-Maier log-rank test, P = 0.001) and the neoplasia at T2 (Kaplan-Maier log-rank test, P = 0.001).
Conclusions: This long-term follow-up study provides the first evidence that gastritis OLGA-staging conveys relevant information on the clinico-pathological outcome of gastritis and therefore for patient management. According to OLGA-staging and H. pylori-status, gastritis patients could be confidently stratified and managed according to their different cancer risks.