Histological changes in patients with chronic upper gastrointestinal ischaemia
Aims: Diagnosing chronic upper gastrointestinal ischaemia (CUGI) remains a challenge in clinical practice. Histological examination of biopsy material currently plays no role in the diagnosis of transient CUGI, as little is known about gastrointestinal histology in these patients. The aim of this study was to investigate upper gastrointestinal histology in patients with well-defined CUGI.Methods and results: Consecutive patients suspected of CUGI were included prospectively and underwent a diagnostic work-up existing of upper endoscopy, gastrointestinal tonometry and computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MR) angiography. Results were discussed in a multidisciplinary team and a consensus diagnosis was made. Endoscopic biopsy samples were taken from the descending duodenum, gastric antrum and corpus, and scored using the Sydney, Vienna, Chiu, Marsh and Operative Link for Gastritis Assessment (OLGA) classifications. Gastropathy was scored present or absent. Seventy-nine patients were analysed in 8 months. CUGI was diagnosed in 41 patients (52%): 36 males, mean age 60 (17-86) years. Prevalence of gastropathy was significantly higher in patients with ischaemia (P = 0.025). No other differences were found between patients with and without ischaemia.Conclusions: Histological examination of biopsy samples plays no definitive role in diagnosing CUGI, but the presence of histological signs of reactive gastropathy can be used to support the clinical diagnosis of ischaemia.