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Gastritis

Last updated: April 28, 2021

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Gastritis is an inflammatory process of the gastric mucosa that can be caused by a variety of conditions, commonly H. pylori infection or the use of drugs such as NSAIDs. Patients typically present with dyspepsia and can often be managed with a test-and-treat strategy for H. pylori if there are no indications for an upper endoscopy. Depending on the results, patients receive eradication therapy or a trial of pharmacological acid suppression. Upper endoscopy and biopsy, which can identify histopathological signs of inflammation, are required for definitive diagnosis. Upper endoscopy is indicated in patients over 60 years of age and considered on a case-by-case basis when red flags for dyspepsia are present. Often, gastritis is diagnosed incidentally, when upper endoscopy is performed for other reasons. The underlying cause of gastritis may be obvious (e.g., direct injury from medication intake), but further testing may be required in order to identify the etiology and provide the optimal treatment.

Etiology of gastritis [2]
Mechanism Cause
External Infectious
Noninfectious
Patient-related Systemic diseases
Immune-mediated
Other

Helicobacter pylori infection is the most common cause of gastritis.

There are multiple classification systems for gastritis. There is significant overlap between different types, e.g., in the histopathological findings of acute and chronic gastritis. The most common types are described here. [1][2]

  • See “Differential diagnoses of dyspepsia.”

The differential diagnoses listed here are not exhaustive.

Approach [4]

Although gastritis is diagnosed based on the results of gastric mucosal biopsy, not all patients require invasive diagnostic testing.

Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) with biopsies [1][4]

Patients with upper GI symptoms are often treated empirically. If gastritis is confirmed by upper endoscopy, treatment should be tailored to the underlying etiology. [4]

Atrophic gastritis

Atrophic gastritis is a type of chronic gastritis. See “Atrophic gastritis for details on its clinical features, diagnostics, and treatment.

Chemical gastritis [1][8]

Ménétrier disease [9][10]

Specific infiltrates

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  3. Moayyedi PM, Lacy BE, Andrews CN, Enns RA, Howden CW, Vakil N. ACG and CAG Clinical Guideline: Management of Dyspepsia. Am J Gastroenterol. 2017; 112 (7): p.988-1013. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2017.154 . | Open in Read by QxMD
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  7. Cook D, Guyatt G. Prophylaxis against Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding in Hospitalized Patients. N Engl J Med. 2018; 378 (26): p.2506-2516. doi: 10.1056/nejmra1605507 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  8. Pashankar DS, Bishop WP, Mitros FA. Chemical Gastropathy: A Distinct Histopathologic Entity in Children. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2002; 35 (5): p.653-657. doi: 10.1097/00005176-200211000-00012 . | Open in Read by QxMD
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  11. Hauser SC, Pardi DS, Poterucha JJ. Mayo Clinic Gastroenterology and Hepatology Board Review. CRC Press ; 2005
  12. Chey WD, Leontiadis GI, Howden CW, Moss SF. ACG Clinical Guideline: Treatment of Helicobacter pylori Infection. Am J Gastroenterol. 2017; 112 : p.212-238. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2016.563 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  13. Ahmed Madisch, Viola Andresen, Paul Enck, Joachim Labenz, Thomas Frieling, Michael Schemann. The Diagnosis and Treatment of Functional Dyspepsia. Deutsches Aerzteblatt Online. 2018 . doi: 10.3238/arztebl.2018.0222 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  14. Lymphocytic gastritis. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/stomachlymphocyticgastritis.html. Updated: December 11, 2019. Accessed: March 19, 2020.
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