Gastric cancer is the fifth most common malignancy in the world with almost one million new cases annually. Helicobacter pylori infection causes 89% of all gastric cancers. Premalignant lesions (atrophy and intestinal metaplasia) develop after several decades of inflammation. Secondary prevention with gastroscopy is possible, but it is costly and has a low compliance rate. Alternative procedures like serology testing for pepsinogen I and II and pepsinogen I/II ratio are available to select patients for surveillance gastroscopies.
Patients and methods
In seven outpatient endoscopic units, 288 patients (154 men; 53.5%), average age 60.68 years, tested positive in National colorectal cancer screening programme SVIT, were included in the study. Gastropanel (BioHit, Finland) was used as a serologic biopsy method.
We found 24 patients (12 men, mean age 63.7 years) with pepsinogen (pepsinogen I/II < 3 and/or pepsinogen I < 30 μg/L). Premalignant changes were found on gastric biopsies in 21 patients (7.3% incidence). Operative Link on Gastric Intestinal Metaplasia Assessment (OLGIM) ≥ 1 was found in 20 patients; Operative Link for Gastritis Assessment (OLGA) ≥ 1 was found in 19 patients. Combined accuracy for preneoplastic lesions in Gastropanel positive patients was 87.5%. H. pylori seropositivity was found in 219 patients (76%). Only 24% of our population had normal results.
Gastropanel test has proven to be a reliable non-invasive test for advanced gastric preneoplastic lesions that can select patients for further gastroscopy. We found high H. pylori seropositivity in older age groups in Slovenia.