Gastritis is defined as inflammation of the gastric mucosa. In histological terms, it is distinguishable into two main categories, i.e. non-atrophic and atrophic. In the gastric mucosa, atrophy is defined as the loss of appropriate glands. There are several etiological types of gastritis, their different etiology being related to different clinical manifestations and pathological features. Atrophic gastritis (resulting mainly from long-standing Helicobacter pylori infection) is a major risk factor for the onset of (intestinal type) gastric cancer. The extent and site of the atrophic changes correlate significantly with the cancer risk. The current format for histology reporting in cases of gastritis fails to establish an immediate link between gastritis phenotype and risk of malignancy. Building on current knowledge of the biology of gastritis, an international group of pathologists [Operative Link for Gastritis Assessment (OLGA)] has proposed a system for reporting gastritis in terms of its stage (the OLGA Staging System): this system places the histological phenotypes of gastritis on a scale of progressively increasing gastric cancer risk, from the lowest (Stage 0) to the highest (Stage IV). The aim of this tutorial is to provide unequivocal information on how to standardize histology reports on gastritis in diagnostic practice.
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