Background/aims: Because the precancerous significance of gastric epithelial dysplasia (GED) is still under debate, this study attempts to ascertain whether a prospective follow-up of GED can contribute to clarifying its clinical and pathological relationships with gastric cancer (GC).
Methods: One hundred twelve patients with mild (G1), moderate (G2), and severe (G3) GED or diagnosed as indefinite for dysplasia were prospectively followed up with a standardized endoscopic and bioptic protocol.
Results: Evaluation of GED outcome refers only to 93 patients with a follow-up period longer than 12 months. Regression of dysplasia was documented in 36%, 27%, and 0% of G1, G2, and G3 GED cases, respectively. Progression to more severe dysplasia or evolution into GC was detected in 21%, 33%, and 57% of G1, G2, and G3 GED cases, respectively. Evolution into GC was documented for all grades of dysplasia and correlated significantly with high-grade atrophic gastritis. A high prevalence of early GC (86.9%) was also observed.
Conclusions: GED is a pre-invasive lesion, and carcinomatous evolution increases proportionally with its histological grade. Bioptical follow-up is mandatory for all histological grades of GED and significantly increases the likelihood of GC being detected in its early stages.