Helicobacter pylori and non-Helicobacter pylori bacterial flora in gastric mucosal and tumour specimens of patients with primary gastric lymphoma.

D.M.A.E. Jonkers, I. Gisbertz, A.P. de Bruine, F.J. Bot, J.W. Arends, E.E. Stobberingh, H.C. Schouten, R.W. Stockbrügger

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Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Maastricht, The Netherlands.

There is an association between Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) and MALT lymphoma. Histologically, mainly non-specific stains are used to detect H. pylori, such as haematoxylin-eosin (HE) or modified Giemsa (MG). In this study, both a MG and a specific immunohistochemical stain (IMM) for H. pylori (Dako B471) were performed on sequential slides of resected material containing tumour and non-tumorous gastric mucosa from patients with primary gastric lymphoma (n = 52). Special attention was paid to the presence of non-H. pylori bacterial flora diagnosed by a positive MG (according to form and localization) and a subsequently negative IMM. On all slides, bacterial density was scored semiquantitatively (grades 0, 1, 2, 3). In total, 32 (61.5%) patients were H. pylori positive using IMM and 34 (65.4%) were non-H. pylori positive using MG. In 24 out of the 34 patients, the non-H. pylori flora consisted mainly of cocci in combination with rods in 15 patients, mostly in minor quantities; in another 10 patients, high numbers of both cocci and different types of rods were present. Most non-H. pylori bacteria were localized superficially, although in 22 patients minor quantities of non-H. pylori were also seen in the glandular lumina. After all of the patients had been analysed, no differences in the density of H. pylori and of non-H. pylori flora were found. Only when comparing patients who had a small-cell lymphoma with those who had a large-cell lymphoma was a significantly higher density of H. pylori found in the corpus mucosa of large-cell lymphomas and a higher prevalence of non-H. pylori was found in tumours, in antrum or corpus, of patients with large-cell lymphomas. In conclusion, with joint evaluation using MG and a H. pylori-specific immunohistochemical stains, the proportion of H. pylori-positive gastric lymphoma patients was lower than in most previous studies but other bacteria were found in a relatively high proportion. The role of the non-H. pylori intragastric bacterial flora identified in this study has to be further elucidated in the aetiopathogenesis of primary gastric lymphoma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-892
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997

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