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The Orientation of Gastric Biopsy Samples Improves the Inter-observer Agreement of the OLGA Staging System

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Bogdan Cotruta, Cristian Gheorghe, Razvan Iacob, Mona Dumbrava, Cristina Radu, Ion Bancila, Gabriel Becheanu
Gastroenterology and Hepatology Center, Fundeni Clinical Institute, Bucharest, Romania

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15403/jgld.2014.1121.264.olg

Background & Aims: Evaluation of severity and extension of gastric atrophy and intestinal metaplasia is recommended to identify subjects with a high risk for gastric cancer. The inter-observer agreement for the assessment of gastric atrophy is reported to be low. The aim of the study was to evaluate the inter-observer agreement for the assessment of severity and extension of gastric atrophy using oriented and unoriented gastric biopsy samples. Furthermore, the quality of biopsy specimens in oriented and unoriented samples was analyzed.
Methods: A total of 35 subjects with dyspeptic symptoms addressed for gastrointestinal endoscopy that agreed to enter the study were prospectively enrolled. The OLGA/OLGIM gastric biopsies protocol was used. From each subject two sets of biopsies were obtained (four from the antrum, two oriented and two unoriented, two from the gastric incisure, one oriented and one unoriented, four from the gastric body, two oriented and two unoriented). The orientation of the biopsy samples was completed using nitrocellulose filters (Endokit®, BioOptica, Milan, Italy). The samples were blindly examined by two experienced pathologists. Inter-observer agreement was evaluated using kappa statistic for inter-rater agreement. The quality of histopathology specimens taking into account the identification of lamina propria was analyzed in oriented vs. unoriented samples. The samples with detectable lamina propria mucosae were defined as good quality specimens. Categorical data was analyzed using chi-square test and a two-sided p value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: A total of 350 biopsy samples were analyzed (175 oriented / 175 unoriented). The kappa index values for oriented/unoriented OLGA 0/I/II/III and IV stages have been 0.62/0.13, 0.70/0.20, 0.61/0.06, 0.62/0.46, and 0.77/0.50, respectively. For OLGIM 0/I/II/III stages the kappa index values for oriented/unoriented samples were 0.83/0.83, 0.88/0.89, 0.70/0.88 and 0.83/1, respectively. No case of OLGIM IV stage was found in the present case series. Good quality histopathology specimens were described in 95.43% of the oriented biopsy samples, and in 89.14% of the unoriented biopsy samples, respectively (p=0.0275).
Conclusion: The orientation of gastric biopsies specimens improves the inter-observer agreement for the assessment of gastric atrophy.
Key words: Gastric atrophy – nitrocellulose filters – gastric cancer – gastric biopsy.
Abbreviations: H. pylori: Helicobacter pylori; OLGA: operative link for gastritis assessment; OLGIM: operative link on intestinal metaplasia assessment.