ABC screening for gastric cancer is not applicable in a Japanese population with high prevalence of atrophic gastritis

Gastric Cancer. 2012 Jul;15(3):331-4. doi: 10.1007/s10120-012-0141-x. Epub 2012 Jan 27.


A combination of the detection of serum anti-Helicobacter pylori antibody and measurement of the level of serum pepsinogens (PG)s, known as the ABC method, has been used in screening for gastric cancer. The ABC method has been shown to be useful in urban and/or younger populations. The aim of this study was to assess whether this method is applicable for an agricultural population with a high incidence of gastric cancer. In all, 1048 healthy adults (401 men and 647 women) who participated in a mass survey in April 2005 were examined. Their serum samples were tested to determine the prevalence of anti-H. pylori antibody, and the levels of PG I and PG II were also measured to assess the presence of atrophic gastritis. Of the elderly subjects born before 1940, 59.4% were classified into groups C and D, with a high risk for gastric cancer, and only 22.7% were classified into group A, with the lowest risk. Of the middle-aged subjects born in the 1940s and the 1950s, 66.5% were classified into groups B-D. If the ABC method is performed in the mass screening for gastric cancer in this population, a large number of subjects will be identified for further examinations. The applicability of the ABC method should be evaluated before use in the screening for gastric cancer, particularly in an aging population with a high prevalence of H. pylori infection and atrophic gastritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Asians
  • Female
  • Gastritis, Atrophic / complications
  • Gastritis, Atrophic / epidemiology*
  • Health Surveys
  • Helicobacter pylori / immunology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pepsinogen A / blood
  • Pepsinogen C / blood
  • Pepsinogens / blood*
  • Rural Population
  • Stomach Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / etiology


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Pepsinogens
  • Pepsinogen C
  • Pepsinogen A