What is the difference between gastritis and gastropathy?

Updated: Jun 07, 2019
  • Author: Akiva J Marcus, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

It is important to distinguish between gastritis and gastropathy (in which there is cell damage and regeneration, but minimal inflammation); these entities are discussed in this article because they are frequently included in the differential diagnosis of chronic gastritis.

Chemical or reactive gastritis is caused by injury to the gastric mucosa resulting from reflux of bile and pancreatic secretions into the stomach, but it can also be caused by exogenous substances, including NSAIDs, acetylsalicylic acid, chemotherapeutic agents, and alcohol. [3] These chemicals cause epithelial damage, erosions, and ulcers that are followed by regenerative hyperplasia detectable as foveolar hyperplasia, and damage to capillaries, with mucosal edema, hemorrhage, and increased smooth muscle in the lamina propria with minimal or no inflammation.

Because there is minimal or no inflammation in these chemical-caused lesions, gastropathy or chemical gastropathy is a more appropriate description than chemical or reactive gastritis, as proposed by the updated Sydney classification of gastritis. [4] It is important to keep in mind that mixed forms of gastropathy and other types of gastritis, especially H pylori gastritis, may coexist.


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