Background: Recent studies have indicated that infection with Helicobacter pylori is closely associated with increased risk for gastric cancer. Previous studies, however, usually have been made on cases of advanced gastric cancer.
Methods: The Congo red-methylene blue test was performed on 19 healthy subjects, 24 patients with early gastric cancer of differentiated type, and 17 patients with early cancer of undifferentiated type. H. pylori infection was examined by culture of biopsy specimens obtained from noncancerous antral mucosa.
Results: H. pylori was detected in 19 (79%) of 24 patients with differentiated-type early gastric cancer, but in only 5 (29%) of 17 patients with undifferentiated-type early gastric cancer; this difference was statistically significant. It also was detected significantly more frequently in patients with differentiated cancers than in healthy subjects.
Conclusions: H. pylori infection was closely associated with differentiated-type gastric cancers, but not with undifferentiated types.