Value of gastrin-17 in detecting antral atrophy

Adv Med Sci. 2011;56(2):145-50. doi: 10.2478/v10039-011-0040-0.


Purpose: Decreased plasma gastrin-17 (G-17), particularly after protein stimulation, is indicative of atrophy in the antral stomach mucosa. Available data on the value of this biomarker is inconclusive. Our study was aimed to evaluate the performance of the G-17 test in Caucasian and Asian patients for antral atrophy evaluation either in fasting state or after protein stimulation.

Material/methods: 241 dyspeptic patients aged 55 and above from Latvia (125), Lithuania (76) and Taiwan (40) were enrolled. G-17 levels were detected in plasma samples obtained either during fasting or after a protein-rich test meal. Levels <1 pmol/L at fast and <5 pmol/L after stimulation were considered indicative of atrophy.

Results: The sensitivity of the test was 15.8%, its specificity 88.7%, and the overall accuracy 83% in the fasting state, and 36.8, 86.5, and 82.6%, respectively, after stimulation. In the Caucasian subgroup, the corresponding figures were 15.4, 91.5, and 86.6% in the fasting state and 30.8, 92.6, 88.6% after stimulation; but for the Asian subgroup the corresponding figures were 16.7, 73.5, and 65% (fasting) and 50, 52.9, and 52.5% (stimulated).

Conclusions: The performance of G-17 was better after protein stimulation. G-17 was highly specific in the Caucasian, but not in the Asian subgroups. Still the low test sensitivity either at fast or following protein stimulation does not allow us to recommend it for wide screening purpose to diagnose antral atrophy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrophy
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Female
  • Gastric Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Gastrins / blood*
  • Gastritis, Atrophic / blood*
  • Gastritis, Atrophic / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Gastrins
  • gastrin 17