What is the role of histologic exam in the workup of acute gastritis?

Updated: Jul 12, 2020
  • Author: Sarah El-Nakeep, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Histologic examination of a biopsy specimen can help in establishing the etiologic agent of gastritis.

The diagnosis of H heilmanii is improved by using smears with Giemsa or Warthin-Starry silver stains than by gastric biopsy specimens via observation of a distinct morphology. A culture of H heilmanii has not yet been established; thus, the diagnosis of this bacterial infection is based on morphological identification by histologic examination and tissue smear cytology.

H pylori can be found by histologic staining of a gastric mucosal biopsy specimen. It has a sensitivity and specificity of greater than 90%.

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