Histopathological parameters of Helicobacter pylori-associated gastritis in children and adolescents: comparison with findings in adults.
Uhlig HH., Tannapfel A., Mössner J., Jedwilayties S., Deutscher J., Müller DM., Kiess W., Richter T.
BACKGROUND: The pathohistological features of Helicobacter pylori-associated gastritis in children and adolescents are less well understood than they are in adults. The aim of the study was to compare histological parameters of H. pylori-infected children with those of adults. METHODS: The retrospective study compared histological features of 111 children (mean age 10.8 +/- 3.8). Three paediatric age groups were analysed and the findings were compared with those of 111 adults (mean age 64.2 +/- 12.1). Degree of chronicity and activity of inflammation, mucus depletion and regeneration of foveolar epithelium by regenerating epithelium and H. pylori colonization were scored in antral biopsies. RESULTS: The histological parameters in children, i.e. degree of chronicity, activity of gastritis and the summed gastritis score, were not significantly different compared to those in adults. Replacement of foveolar epithelium by regenerating epithelium was significantly larger in adults compared to that of paediatric patients. The rate of low-grade mucus depletion and of the strongest degree of H. pylori colonization was higher in children than in adults. Children with antral nodularity had significantly higher histological score values. CONCLUSION: The histological differences between paediatric patients and adults are focused on signs of chronic inflammation and regeneration. Our results imply that antral nodularity is an important sign of highest-grade gastritis, especially in young children.