Kimura-Takemoto Classification: A Tool to Predict Gastric Intestinal Metaplasia Progression to Advanced Gastric Neoplasia

Dig Dis Sci. 2022 Aug;67(8):4092-4099. doi: 10.1007/s10620-021-07212-x. Epub 2021 Aug 18.


Background and aims: Gastric cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Gastric intestinal metaplasia (GIM) has been described as a key histologic step in the development of gastric adenocarcinoma. However, not all people with GIM develop malignancy. We studied the factors associated with progression to dysplasia and advanced gastric neoplasia (aGN) in patients with baseline GIM.

Methods: Retrospective cohort analysis of patients with baseline GIM and subsequent endoscopic evaluation at Cleveland Clinic Florida and Ohio Main Campus between 2005 and 2017. Demographic and exposure risk factors, as well as Kimura-Takemoto classification (KTc), were used as variables for hazards ratio (HR) and Kaplan-Meier survival-free analysis for aGN and any form of dysplasia progression.

Results: There were 708 patients identified with GIM; 29 patients (4.1%) progressed to any degree of dysplasia. From these, LGD was present in 12 cases (1.7%), HGD in 4 cases (0.6%), and gastric cancer in 13 cases (1.8%), for a total of 17 aGN cases. KTc was associated with dysplasia and aGN progression (p < 0.001), and no cases progressed if KTc findings were absent. Open-type KTc was associated with aGN (HR 6.36, p < 0.001) and any dysplasia progression (HR 13.34, p < 0.001) compared to closed-type or absent KTc features. No other factors were associated with aGN or dysplasia progression. Open-type KTc was also associated with shorter cancer survival-free progression.

Conclusion: Patients with baseline GIM present a higher progression risk to aGN, dysplasia, or cancer if concomitant KTc findings are present, particularly an open-type KTc pattern.

Keywords: Endoscopy; Gastric cancer; Gastric dysplasia; Intestinal metaplasia; Kimura–Takemoto classification.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Metaplasia
  • Precancerous Conditions* / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / pathology