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    Gut and Liver is an international journal of gastroenterology, focusing on the gastrointestinal tract, liver, biliary tree, pancreas, motility, and neurogastroenterology. Gut atnd Liver delivers up-to-date, authoritative papers on both clinical and research-based topics in gastroenterology. The Journal publishes original articles, case reports, brief communications, letters to the editor and invited review articles in the field of gastroenterology. The Journal is operated by internationally renowned editorial boards and designed to provide a global opportunity to promote academic developments in the field of gastroenterology and hepatology. +MORE

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    Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Univ. California San Francisco
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Endoscopic Features of Undifferentiated-Type Early Gastric Cancer in Patients with Helicobacter pylori-Uninfected or -Eradicated Stomachs: A Comprehensive Review

Yusuke Horiuchi , Toshiaki Hirasawa , Junko Fujisaki

Department of Gastroenterology, Cancer Institute Hospital of Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo, Japan

Correspondence to: Yusuke Horiuchi
ORCID https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8116-8152
E-mail yusuke.horiuchi@jfcr.or.jp

Received: March 22, 2023; Revised: May 10, 2023; Accepted: May 23, 2023

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Gut Liver 2024;18(2):209-217. https://doi.org/10.5009/gnl230106

Published online October 19, 2023, Published date March 15, 2024

Copyright © Gut and Liver.

Since the indications for endoscopic submucosal dissection have been expanded to include undifferentiated-type early gastric cancers, improvements in preoperative diagnostic ability have been an area of research. There are also concerns about the impact on the diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection. Based on our previous studies, in undifferentiated-type early gastric cancers, magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging is useful for delineating the demarcation regardless of the tumor size. Additionally, inflammatory cell infiltration appears to be a cause of misdiagnosis, suggesting that the resolution of inflammation could contribute to the accurate diagnosis of demarcations. As such, the accuracy of demarcation in eradicated and uninfected cases is higher than that in non-eradicated cases. The common features of the endoscopic findings were discoloration under white-light imaging and a predominance of sites in the lower and middle regions. The uninfected group was characterized by smaller tumor size, flat type, more extended intervening parts in magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging, and pure signet ring cell carcinoma. In contrast, the eradication and non-eradication groups were characterized by larger tumor size, depressed type, and wavy microvessels in magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging. In this comprehensive review, as described above, we discuss the diagnosis of demarcation of undifferentiated-type early gastric cancers, undifferentiated-type early gastric cancers that developed following H. pylori eradication, and H. pylori-uninfected undifferentiated-type early gastric cancers, with a focus on studies with self-examination and endoscopic findings and describe the future direction.

Keywords: Helicobacter infections, Endoscopic mucosal resection, Stomach neoplasms, Narrow-band imaging, Endoscopy

In recent years, the indications for endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) have been expanded to include undifferentiated-type early gastric cancers (UD-type EGCs; intramucosal, diameter ≤2 cm without ulceration).1-4 However, demarcating UD-type EGCs is difficult because of the presence of proliferative zone extensions.5,6 The horizontal margin-positive rate can range from 1.7% to 52.6%, and the proportion of curability by ESD can range from 63.9% to 82.5%; hence, both of these parameters suggest noticeable inter-institutional differences.7-14 Moreover, the curative resection rate of ESD reportedly decreases as the tumor diameter increases in UD-type EGCs.15 Accordingly, improvements in the preoperative diagnostic ability are expected. Recently, the usefulness of magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging (ME-NBI) in delineating the demarcation of differentiated-type EGCs has been reported;16-19 however, its usefulness for UD-type EGC remains unclear.

Helicobacter pylori is observed in most patients with gastric cancer.20,21 Eradication of H. pylori reportedly reduces the risk of developing gastric cancer;22 therefore, eradication is widely considered in daily clinical practice. However, H. pylori eradication in differentiated-type EGCs makes it difficult to demarcate cancer lesions because the luminal surface of the stomach is covered with gastritis-like tissue.23,24 Additionally, its effect on UD-type EGCs remains unclear.

Cases of H. pylori-uninfected EGC have also been reported, but with a prevalence as low as 0.66%.25 In addition, UD-type EGC is predominant in H. pylori-uninfected EGCs.25 However, the difference in endoscopic findings between H. pylori-uninfected and H. pylori-infected cases is unclear.

We previously examined the diagnosis of demarcation of UD-type EGCs, the features of UD-type EGCs following H. pylori eradication, and the features of H. pylori-uninfected UD-type EGCs.26-29 Accordingly, this study aimed to introduce the findings of our previous studies on the subject and discuss the diagnosis of demarcation in UD-type EGCs, the features of UD-type EGCs following H. pylori eradication, and the features of H. pylori-uninfected UD-type EGCs.

We previously examined the utility of ME-NBI for the diagnosis of demarcation in UD-type EGCs in ESD.26 Specifically, we compared the diagnostic accuracy of demarcation between white-light imaging (WLI) alone and WLI+ME-NBI in 76 patients (76 lesions). UD-type EGC invasion collated with ME-NBI findings as shown in Fig. 1.26,30,31 If the UD-type EGC remains in the proliferative zone, it is considered an extended intervening part. If UD-type EGC is found spanning the proliferative zone up to the superficial layer, it can be observed as wavy microvessels. If UD-type EGC is found in the entire layer, it is observed as a cork-screw pattern. Based on these findings, the demarcation of UD-type EGC was delineated, and argon plasma coagulation (APC) markings were made on the utmost oral and the utmost anal sides of each lesion diagnosed using WLI or ME-NBI. The APC markings are shown in Fig. 2. A correct diagnosis was defined as a diagnosis extent that coincided with the extent determined on the pathological tissue slides. We subsequently compared the accuracies of WLI and WLI+ME-NBI.

Figure 1.Undifferentiated-type early gastric cancer (UD-type EGC) invasion collated with magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging (ME-NBI) findings. (A) If the UD-type EGC remains in the proliferative zone, it can be observed as an extended intervening part of ME-NBI. (B) If UD-type EGC is found to extend from the proliferative zone to the superficial layer, wavy microvessels are observed on ME-NBI. (C) If UD-type EGC extends across the whole layer, it is observed as a cork-screw pattern in ME-NBI. Taken from Horiuchi Y et al. Gastric Cancer 2016;19:515-523, with permission from Springer Nature.26

Figure 2.Actual argon plasma coagulation (APC)-marking images. The dotted lines indicate the tumor border region, as viewed under white-light imaging (WLI). The arrow indicates a tumor border region as viewed using magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging (ME-NBI). (A) Tumor border at the utmost oral site under WLI. (B) Demarcation line as viewed using ME-NBI (coinciding with A). (C) A higher magnification view of B. (D) An APC marking placed on the demarcation line. (E) Tumor border at the utmost anal site under WLI. (F) Demarcation line as viewed using ME-NBI (inconsistent with E). (G) A higher magnification view of F. (H) An APC marking placed on the demarcation line. Taken from Horiuchi Y et al. Gastric Cancer 2016;19:515-523, with permission from Springer Nature.26

As a result (in our previous study26, from among 76 lesions, a diagnosis using WLI was feasible in 41 lesions (53.9%), while it was difficult or infeasible in 35 lesions (46.1%). With ME-NBI, the diagnosis became feasible for 21 (27.6%) of these 35 difficult or infeasible lesions, and the accurate diagnosis rate increased to 81.5% because of this additional effect. When comparing the accurate demarcation diagnosis rate according to the degree of background mucosal status based on the Updated Sydney System,32 no significant differences in atrophy or intestinal epithelial metaplasia were observed between the normal-to-mild and moderate-to-marked groups (87.2% vs 76.7%, 85.5% vs 64.3%, respectively). However, patients with milder neutrophil and mononuclear cell infiltration had a significantly higher accurate diagnosis rate (87.1% vs 57.1%, p<0.05; 93.5% vs 73.3%, p<0.05, respectively).

Subsequently, we examined the utility of ME-NBI for the diagnosis and demarcation of UD-type EGCs in surgical resection.27 APC marking in these cases was performed in the same manner as in the ESD cases. The evaluation method was also the same as that for the ESD cases. We subsequently compared the accuracies of WLI and WLI+ME-NBI.

As a result (in our previous study27, 35 lesions (47.3%) could be diagnosed using WLI alone, and 39 lesions (52.7%) could not be diagnosed or were difficult to diagnose using WLI alone. ME-NBI allowed for diagnosis in 27 (36.5%) of these 39 lesions, and this additional effect increased the rate of correct diagnosis to 83.8%. Comparison of the accurate demarcation diagnosis rate according to the degree of background mucosal status based on the Updated Sydney System32 revealed no significant difference in intestinal metaplasia between the normal-to-mild and moderate-to-marked groups (87.2% vs 77.8%). However, cases with milder atrophy, neutrophil, and mononuclear cell infiltration had a significantly higher accurate diagnosis rate (96.0% vs 77.6%, p<0.05; 94.0% vs 62.5%, p<0.05; 100% vs 78.6%, p<0.05, respectively).

To summarize, the diagnostic accuracy of demarcation with ME-NBI was approximately 80% in ESD and surgical cases, indicating that ME-NBI has an add-on effect of approximately 30% compared to conventional WLI. Therefore, in UD-type EGCs, ME-NBI is useful for delineating demarcation, regardless of tumor size. Additionally, inflammatory cell infiltration appeared to be a cause of misdiagnosis, suggesting that the resolution of inflammation could contribute to the accurate diagnosis of demarcation.

H. pylori is a major cause of inflammation in the stomach.20,21 Therefore, eradication of H. pylori may improve the rate of accurate demarcation diagnosis. However, eradication of H. pylori with differentiated-type EGCs makes it difficult to demarcate cancer lesions as the luminal surface of the stomach is covered with gastritis-like tissue.23,24 To the best of our knowledge, there have been no reports of UD-type EGCs to date. Therefore, we compared accurate diagnosis rates for APC marking between patients with and without eradication of H. pylori to determine whether eradication was as beneficial as believed.28

The inclusion criteria for the eradication group were as follows: (1) negative H. pylori antibody or C urea breath test results if the patient underwent H. pylori eradication at our hospital or another hospital, or (2) confirmed negative urea breath test result ≥4 weeks after initiating H. pylori eradication if the patient was positive for H. pylori antibodies or had a positive urea breath test result at the first examination at our hospital. As such, the H. pylori-infected without eradication group did not meet these criteria and was labeled as the “non-eradication group.”

APC markings were made on the utmost oral and the utmost anal sides of each lesion diagnosed using ME-NBI. A correct diagnosis was defined as a diagnosis result matching the one determined from the pathological tissue slides.

Compared with the noncancerous region, the cancerous region shows an expansion of the distance between glands in UD-type EGCs.6 The intercrypt distance is defined as the distance between the center of a crypt and that of an adjacent crypt. Based on this, the intercrypt distance was measured at 5 to 10 points in each of the cancerous and noncancerous regions, and the mean distances were calculated from the measurements. The mean distance ratio of the noncancerous region to the cancerous region was calculated as the intercrypt distance ratio (Fig. 3). Based on this, the eradication and non-eradication groups consisted of 27 (27 lesions) and 33 (33 lesions) cases, respectively. In both groups, the lesions were discolored, the macroscopic type was mostly depressed, and the majority of lesions were located in the middle and lower regions of the stomach, with no difference between the groups.

Figure 3.Intercrypt distance expansion. The cancerous region shows an expansion of the distance between glands (intercrypt distance) compared with the noncancerous region. Taken from Horiuchi Y et al. Gastric Cancer 2018;21:988-997, with permission from Springer Nature.29

The diagnostic accuracy was significantly higher in the eradication group than in the non-eradication group (92.6% vs 60.6%, p<0.05). The mean intercrypt distance ratio was significantly higher in the eradication group than in the non-eradication group (1.94, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.69–2.2 vs 1.59, 95% CI 1.40–1.78; p<0.05). Comparison of the normal-mild inflammation of the background mucosa between the eradication and non-eradication groups revealed that neutrophil infiltration was significantly milder in the eradication group than in the non-eradication group (85.2% vs 57.6%, p<0.05). In contrast, no significant differences in atrophy, intestinal metaplasia, or mononuclear cells were observed between the eradication and non-eradication groups (44.4% vs 27.3%, 77.8% vs 66.7%, 40.7% vs 18.2%, respectively).

To summarize, the diagnostic accuracy rate was significantly higher in the eradication group than in the non-eradication group. This suggests that H. pylori eradication is beneficial for diagnostic demarcation and may improve the rate of curative resection with ESD. This is consistent with the findings of previous reports that inflammation disappears within 4 weeks following the eradication of H. pylori, in contrast to that in patients without H. pylori eradication.33 Neutrophil infiltration has also been reported to disappear within 4 weeks.34 These results indicate that when H. pylori is eradicated after cancer detection, the demarcation of the lesion is more defined after 4 weeks in patients who undergo H. pylori eradication than in those who do not.

However, it is not advisable to postpone ESD for UD-type EGCs for several months to confirm whether eradication is successful because UD-type EGCs may progress during this time. The current success rate of eradication is reported to be 92.6%.35 Therefore, it is important to assume that most patients benefit from eradication and to perform eradication as soon as cancer is detected and then perform ESD promptly without waiting to confirm whether the eradication has been successful.

Most patients with gastric cancer are H. pylori positive,20,21 and the prevalence of H. pylori-uninfected EGCs is low; however, the UD type is predominant in H. pylori-uninfected EGCs.25 In general, the major characteristics of H. pylori-uninfected UD-type EGCs are as follows:29,36 color, discolored; location, the middle and/or lower regions; macroscopic type, flat; ME-NBI, extended intervening part; depth, mucosa; histological type, sig; diameter, small (Fig. 4).29 However, to the best of our knowledge, there have been no reports on the differences in endoscopic findings between H. pylori-uninfected and infected cases. Therefore, we compared the endoscopic findings between the H. pylori-uninfected and infected groups (i.e., the eradication and non-eradication groups).29

Figure 4.Endoscopic and pathologic findings of Helicobacter pylori-uninfected undifferentiated-type cancers. (A) Endoscopic findings with white-light imaging. The discolored area is relatively clearly recognizable. (B) Chromoendoscopic finding. (C) Findings of magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging. An extended intervening part is recognizable. (D) Pathological findings following endoscopic therapy. Signet ring cell carcinoma is confined to the proliferative zone of the mucosa. Taken from Horiuchi Y et al. Gastric Cancer 2018;21:988-997, with permission from Springer Nature.29

H. pylori-uninfected cases were defined as meeting all of the following criteria: (1) no prior H. pylori eradication; (2) negative urea breath test results (UBIT; Otsuka, Tokushima, Japan); (3) negative results for H. pylori antibodies (H. pylori antibody II: EIKEN Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan); (4) negative pepsinogen (PG) test results (positive cutoff value: PGI ≤70 ng/mL; PGI/II ratio ≤3); (5) endoscopically confirmed positive regular arrangement of collecting venules in the lower gastric body;37 and (6) a histologically confirmed H. pylori-uninfected case and negative inflammatory cell infiltration result based on the updated Sydney system.32

APC markings were made on utmost oral and the utmost anal sides of each lesion diagnosed using ME-NBI. The definitions of correct diagnosis and mean intercrypt distance ratio were the same as those described in the section (Features of UD-type EGCs following H. pylori eradication).

As a result, the uninfected group included 21 cases (21 lesions), the eradication group included 27 cases (27 lesions), and the non-eradication group included 33 cases (33 lesions). The common endoscopic features in all three groups were as follows: discoloration in the WLI and many sites were in the lower and middle regions of the stomach.

Compared to the non-eradication group, the uninfected group revealed a significantly greater number of cases of the flat type as macroscopic type (42.9% vs 3.0%, p=0.0004), with the extended intervening part noted in the ME-NBI findings (97.6% vs 63.6%, p<0.0001), with signet ring cell carcinoma as the histological type (100% vs 69.7%, p=0.0043), and significantly smaller tumor diameters (7.3±5.2 mm vs 14.6±9.0 mm, p=0.0002). Additionally, in the uninfected group, the accuracy of demarcation and mean intercrypt distance ratio were significantly higher (100% vs 60.6%, p=0.0007; 1.96 [95% CI, 1.70 to 2.21] vs 1.59 [95% CI, 1.40 to 1.78], p=0.0103, respectively) than those in the non-eradication group. Additionally, regarding atrophy, intestinal metaplasia, neutrophil infiltration, and mononuclear cell infiltration (indicative of inflammation of the background mucosa), the uninfected group had significantly milder cases than the non-eradication group (100% vs 27.3%, p<0.0001; 100% vs 66.7%, p=0.0038; 100% vs 57.6%, p=0.0003; 85.7% vs 18.2%, p<0.0001, respectively).

Compared to the eradication group, the uninfected group revealed a significantly greater number of cases of the flat rather than macroscopic type (42.9% vs 11.1%, p=0.0184), with the extended intervening part noted in the ME-NBI findings (97.6% vs 70.4%, p=0.0011), with signet ring cell carcinoma as the histological type (100% vs 63.0%, p=0.0064), and with significantly smaller tumor diameters (7.3±5.2 mm vs 13.6±7.3 mm, p=0.0008). Additionally, compared to the eradication group, the uninfected group had significantly milder cases of atrophy and mononuclear cell infiltration (indicative of inflammation of the background mucosa): 100% versus 44.4%, p<0.0001; 85.7% versus 40.7%, p=0.0026, respectively. Meanwhile, the accuracy of demarcation and the mean intercrypt distance ratio were not significantly different between the groups.

To summarize, the uninfected group was characterized by smaller tumor size, predominantly of a flat type, extended intervening parts in ME-NBI, and pure signet ring cell carcinoma in the histological type. In contrast, the eradication and non-eradication groups were characterized by larger tumor size, of a depressed type, and wavy microvessels in ME-NBI. In support of these characteristics in the uninfected group, the cancer proliferative potential was assessed using the MIB-1 labeling index to determine whether there was a difference in biological behavior between the uninfected and infected groups (Fig. 5).38 The uninfected group had a significantly lower proliferative capacity than the infected group. The tumor size was small owing to low proliferative potential, and the lesions remained in the middle layer of the mucosa instead of being exposed on the surface, resulting in the flat type as macroscopic type and an extended intervening part in ME-NBI (Fig. 1A). Regarding the presence of pure signet ring cell carcinoma in the histology, this lesion type is reported to have a lower risk of metastasis and a lower biological grade than mixed, poorly differentiated carcinoma.39,40 Further, its presence in uninfected patients may support its lower proliferative potential. There was no difference in the mean intercrypt distance ratio, accuracy, or neutrophil invasion in the background mucosa between the uninfected and eradication groups. Eradication might have resulted in neutrophil infiltration at a level similar to that of the uninfected group and the demarcation between cancerous and noncancerous regions was clearly defined, resulting in a similar diagnostic accuracy between the uninfected and eradicated groups. Meanwhile, in the non-eradication group, there was no difference in the intercrypt distance between the cancer and non-cancer groups due to neutrophil infiltration, and the demarcation between cancerous and noncancerous regions was unclear, resulting in a lower diagnostic accuracy (Fig. 6).

Figure 5.The MIB-1 labeling index. The vertical axis shows the number of patients, and the horizontal axis shows the MIB-1 labeling index. The MIB-1 labeling index was significantly higher in Helicobacter pylori-positive (HP+) patients than in H. pylori-negative (HP−) patients (p<0.0001). Taken from Horiuchi Y et al. Gastric Cancer 2016;19:160-165, with permission from Springer Nature.38

Figure 6.Schema of pathological images arranged by Helicobacter pylori infection status. (A) In the non-eradication group, there is no difference in the intercrypt distance between the cancerous and noncancerous regions due to neutrophil infiltration, and the demarcation is unclear. (B) In the eradication group, the neutrophil infiltration is improved, and the difference in the intercrypt distance is clearly visible, making the demarcation clear. (C) In the uninfected group, there is no neutrophil infiltration; therefore, the difference in the intercrypt distance is clearly visible and the demarcation is clear.

The usefulness of ME-NBI in diagnosing the demarcation of UD-type EGCs and the endoscopic characteristics of eradicated and uninfected cases were reviewed. In UD-type EGCs, ME-NBI was found to be useful for delineating demarcation, regardless of tumor size. Additionally, inflammatory cell infiltration appears to be a major cause of misdiagnosis, suggesting that the resolution of inflammation could contribute to the accurate diagnosis of demarcation. Therefore, the accuracy of demarcation was higher in eradicated and uninfected cases than in non-eradicated cases. The common features of the endoscopic findings included discoloration under WLI and a predominance of lesions in the lower and middle regions across all three groups. The uninfected group was more common than the eradication and non-eradication groups and was characterized by smaller tumor size, flat type, extended intervening parts in ME-NBI, and pure signet ring cell carcinoma.

With the increasing prevalence of eradication therapy for chronic gastritis41 and the low proportion of H. pylori infection among young patients,42,43 the number of eradicated and uninfected cases of UD-type EGCs is expected to increase. As indicated in this study, diagnosis with ME-NBI will be useful to improve the curative resection rate by ESD. However, ME-NBI requires skill and has a steep learning curve, although e-learning and artificial intelligence have been reported to assist in diagnosis.44-46 In addition, the feasibility of further expansion of ESD indications for UD-type EGCs has been reported,47,48 and the accuracy of pretreatment diagnosis of UD-type EGCs is expected to become more important. Therefore, further improvement in endoscopists’ diagnostic skills, and the environment for such improvement, are expected.

Y.H. reports receiving a Grant-in-Aid for Early-Career Scientists (21K15962), the Japanese Foundation for Research and Promotion of Endoscopy Grant, an academic grant from the Japanese Gastric Cancer Association Research Committee, and personal fees for specific speaking and teaching commitments involving honoraria from Olympus Corp. and Kaken Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. The remaining authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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  30. Nakayoshi T, Tajiri H, Matsuda K, Kaise M, Ikegami M, Sasaki H. Magnifying endoscopy combined with narrow band imaging system for early gastric cancer: correlation of vascular pattern with histopathology (including video). Endoscopy 2004;36:1080-1084.
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  31. Okada K, Fujisaki J, Kasuga A, et al. Diagnosis of undifferentiated type early gastric cancers by magnification endoscopy with narrow-band imaging. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2011;26:1262-1269.
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  32. Dixon MF, Genta RM, Yardley JH, Correa P. Classification and grading of gastritis: the updated Sydney System. International Workshop on the Histopathology of Gastritis, Houston 1994. Am J Surg Pathol 1996;20:1161-1181.
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  33. Murakami K, Fujioka T, Kodama R, Kubota T, Tokieda M, Nasu M. Helicobacter pylori infection accelerates human gastric mucosal cell proliferation. J Gastroenterol 1997;32:184-188.
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  34. Ohkusa T, Miwa H, Hojo M, et al. Endoscopic, histological and serologic findings of gastric hyperplastic polyps after eradication of Helicobacter pylori: comparison between responder and non-responder cases. Digestion 2003;68:57-62.
    Pubmed CrossRef
  35. Murakami K, Sakurai Y, Shiino M, Funao N, Nishimura A, Asaka M. Vonoprazan, a novel potassium-competitive acid blocker, as a component of first-line and second-line triple therapy for Helicobacter pylori eradication: a phase III, randomised, double-blind study. Gut 2016;65:1439-1446.
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  36. Horiuchi Y, Fujisaki J, Ishizuka N, et al. Study on clinical factors involved in Helicobacter pylori-uninfected, undifferentiated-type early gastric cancer. Digestion 2017;96:213-219.
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  37. Yagi K, Nakamura A, Sekine A. Characteristic endoscopic and magnified endoscopic findings in the normal stomach without Helicobacter pylori infection. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2002;17:39-45.
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  38. Horiuchi Y, Fujisaki J, Yamamoto N, et al. Biological behavior of the intramucosal Helicobacter pylori-negative undifferentiated-type early gastric cancer: comparison with Helicobacter pylori-positive early gastric cancer. Gastric Cancer 2016;19:160-165.
    Pubmed CrossRef
  39. Lee IS, Lee S, Park YS, Gong CS, Yook JH, Kim BS. Applicability of endoscopic submucosal dissection for undifferentiated early gastric cancer: mixed histology of poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma and signet ring cell carcinoma is a worse predictive factor of nodal metastasis. Surg Oncol 2017;26:8-12.
    Pubmed CrossRef
  40. Imamura T, Komatsu S, Ichikawa D, et al. Early signet ring cell carcinoma of the stomach is related to favorable prognosis and low incidence of lymph node metastasis. J Surg Oncol 2016;114:607-612.
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  41. Kuwayama H, Asaka M, Sugiyama T, et al. Rabeprazole-based eradication therapy for Helicobacter pylori: a large-scale study in Japan. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2007;25:1105-1113.
    Pubmed CrossRef
  42. Asaka M, Kimura T, Kudo M, et al. Relationship of Helicobacter pylori to serum pepsinogens in an asymptomatic Japanese population. Gastroenterology 1992;102:760-766.
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  43. Kikuchi S, Nakajima T, Kobayashi O, et al. Effect of age on the relationship between gastric cancer and Helicobacter pylori. Tokyo Research Group of Prevention for Gastric Cancer. Jpn J Cancer Res 2000;91:774-779.
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  44. Nakanishi H, Doyama H, Ishikawa H, et al. Evaluation of an e-learning system for diagnosis of gastric lesions using magnifying narrow-band imaging: a multicenter randomized controlled study. Endoscopy 2017;49:957-967.
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  45. Horiuchi Y, Aoyama K, Tokai Y, et al. Convolutional neural network for differentiating gastric cancer from gastritis using magnified endoscopy with narrow band imaging. Dig Dis Sci 2020;65:1355-1363.
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  46. Horiuchi Y, Hirasawa T, Ishizuka N, et al. Performance of a computer-aided diagnosis system in diagnosing early gastric cancer using magnifying endoscopy videos with narrow-band imaging (with videos). Gastrointest Endosc 2020;92:856-865.
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  47. Horiuchi Y, Ida S, Yamamoto N, et al. Feasibility of further expansion of the indications for endoscopic submucosal dissection in undifferentiated-type early gastric cancer. Gastric Cancer 2020;23:285-292.
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  48. Murai K, Takizawa K, Shimoda T, et al. Effect of double-layer structure in intramucosal gastric signet-ring cell carcinoma on lymph node metastasis: a retrospective, single-center study. Gastric Cancer 2019;22:751-758.
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Article

Review Article

Gut and Liver 2024; 18(2): 209-217

Published online March 15, 2024 https://doi.org/10.5009/gnl230106

Copyright © Gut and Liver.

Endoscopic Features of Undifferentiated-Type Early Gastric Cancer in Patients with Helicobacter pylori-Uninfected or -Eradicated Stomachs: A Comprehensive Review

Yusuke Horiuchi , Toshiaki Hirasawa , Junko Fujisaki

Department of Gastroenterology, Cancer Institute Hospital of Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo, Japan

Correspondence to:Yusuke Horiuchi
ORCID https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8116-8152
E-mail yusuke.horiuchi@jfcr.or.jp

Received: March 22, 2023; Revised: May 10, 2023; Accepted: May 23, 2023

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Since the indications for endoscopic submucosal dissection have been expanded to include undifferentiated-type early gastric cancers, improvements in preoperative diagnostic ability have been an area of research. There are also concerns about the impact on the diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection. Based on our previous studies, in undifferentiated-type early gastric cancers, magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging is useful for delineating the demarcation regardless of the tumor size. Additionally, inflammatory cell infiltration appears to be a cause of misdiagnosis, suggesting that the resolution of inflammation could contribute to the accurate diagnosis of demarcations. As such, the accuracy of demarcation in eradicated and uninfected cases is higher than that in non-eradicated cases. The common features of the endoscopic findings were discoloration under white-light imaging and a predominance of sites in the lower and middle regions. The uninfected group was characterized by smaller tumor size, flat type, more extended intervening parts in magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging, and pure signet ring cell carcinoma. In contrast, the eradication and non-eradication groups were characterized by larger tumor size, depressed type, and wavy microvessels in magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging. In this comprehensive review, as described above, we discuss the diagnosis of demarcation of undifferentiated-type early gastric cancers, undifferentiated-type early gastric cancers that developed following H. pylori eradication, and H. pylori-uninfected undifferentiated-type early gastric cancers, with a focus on studies with self-examination and endoscopic findings and describe the future direction.

Keywords: Helicobacter infections, Endoscopic mucosal resection, Stomach neoplasms, Narrow-band imaging, Endoscopy

INTRODUCTION

In recent years, the indications for endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) have been expanded to include undifferentiated-type early gastric cancers (UD-type EGCs; intramucosal, diameter ≤2 cm without ulceration).1-4 However, demarcating UD-type EGCs is difficult because of the presence of proliferative zone extensions.5,6 The horizontal margin-positive rate can range from 1.7% to 52.6%, and the proportion of curability by ESD can range from 63.9% to 82.5%; hence, both of these parameters suggest noticeable inter-institutional differences.7-14 Moreover, the curative resection rate of ESD reportedly decreases as the tumor diameter increases in UD-type EGCs.15 Accordingly, improvements in the preoperative diagnostic ability are expected. Recently, the usefulness of magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging (ME-NBI) in delineating the demarcation of differentiated-type EGCs has been reported;16-19 however, its usefulness for UD-type EGC remains unclear.

Helicobacter pylori is observed in most patients with gastric cancer.20,21 Eradication of H. pylori reportedly reduces the risk of developing gastric cancer;22 therefore, eradication is widely considered in daily clinical practice. However, H. pylori eradication in differentiated-type EGCs makes it difficult to demarcate cancer lesions because the luminal surface of the stomach is covered with gastritis-like tissue.23,24 Additionally, its effect on UD-type EGCs remains unclear.

Cases of H. pylori-uninfected EGC have also been reported, but with a prevalence as low as 0.66%.25 In addition, UD-type EGC is predominant in H. pylori-uninfected EGCs.25 However, the difference in endoscopic findings between H. pylori-uninfected and H. pylori-infected cases is unclear.

We previously examined the diagnosis of demarcation of UD-type EGCs, the features of UD-type EGCs following H. pylori eradication, and the features of H. pylori-uninfected UD-type EGCs.26-29 Accordingly, this study aimed to introduce the findings of our previous studies on the subject and discuss the diagnosis of demarcation in UD-type EGCs, the features of UD-type EGCs following H. pylori eradication, and the features of H. pylori-uninfected UD-type EGCs.

DIAGNOSIS OF DEMARCATION IN UD-TYPE EGCS

We previously examined the utility of ME-NBI for the diagnosis of demarcation in UD-type EGCs in ESD.26 Specifically, we compared the diagnostic accuracy of demarcation between white-light imaging (WLI) alone and WLI+ME-NBI in 76 patients (76 lesions). UD-type EGC invasion collated with ME-NBI findings as shown in Fig. 1.26,30,31 If the UD-type EGC remains in the proliferative zone, it is considered an extended intervening part. If UD-type EGC is found spanning the proliferative zone up to the superficial layer, it can be observed as wavy microvessels. If UD-type EGC is found in the entire layer, it is observed as a cork-screw pattern. Based on these findings, the demarcation of UD-type EGC was delineated, and argon plasma coagulation (APC) markings were made on the utmost oral and the utmost anal sides of each lesion diagnosed using WLI or ME-NBI. The APC markings are shown in Fig. 2. A correct diagnosis was defined as a diagnosis extent that coincided with the extent determined on the pathological tissue slides. We subsequently compared the accuracies of WLI and WLI+ME-NBI.

Figure 1. Undifferentiated-type early gastric cancer (UD-type EGC) invasion collated with magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging (ME-NBI) findings. (A) If the UD-type EGC remains in the proliferative zone, it can be observed as an extended intervening part of ME-NBI. (B) If UD-type EGC is found to extend from the proliferative zone to the superficial layer, wavy microvessels are observed on ME-NBI. (C) If UD-type EGC extends across the whole layer, it is observed as a cork-screw pattern in ME-NBI. Taken from Horiuchi Y et al. Gastric Cancer 2016;19:515-523, with permission from Springer Nature.26

Figure 2. Actual argon plasma coagulation (APC)-marking images. The dotted lines indicate the tumor border region, as viewed under white-light imaging (WLI). The arrow indicates a tumor border region as viewed using magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging (ME-NBI). (A) Tumor border at the utmost oral site under WLI. (B) Demarcation line as viewed using ME-NBI (coinciding with A). (C) A higher magnification view of B. (D) An APC marking placed on the demarcation line. (E) Tumor border at the utmost anal site under WLI. (F) Demarcation line as viewed using ME-NBI (inconsistent with E). (G) A higher magnification view of F. (H) An APC marking placed on the demarcation line. Taken from Horiuchi Y et al. Gastric Cancer 2016;19:515-523, with permission from Springer Nature.26

As a result (in our previous study26, from among 76 lesions, a diagnosis using WLI was feasible in 41 lesions (53.9%), while it was difficult or infeasible in 35 lesions (46.1%). With ME-NBI, the diagnosis became feasible for 21 (27.6%) of these 35 difficult or infeasible lesions, and the accurate diagnosis rate increased to 81.5% because of this additional effect. When comparing the accurate demarcation diagnosis rate according to the degree of background mucosal status based on the Updated Sydney System,32 no significant differences in atrophy or intestinal epithelial metaplasia were observed between the normal-to-mild and moderate-to-marked groups (87.2% vs 76.7%, 85.5% vs 64.3%, respectively). However, patients with milder neutrophil and mononuclear cell infiltration had a significantly higher accurate diagnosis rate (87.1% vs 57.1%, p<0.05; 93.5% vs 73.3%, p<0.05, respectively).

Subsequently, we examined the utility of ME-NBI for the diagnosis and demarcation of UD-type EGCs in surgical resection.27 APC marking in these cases was performed in the same manner as in the ESD cases. The evaluation method was also the same as that for the ESD cases. We subsequently compared the accuracies of WLI and WLI+ME-NBI.

As a result (in our previous study27, 35 lesions (47.3%) could be diagnosed using WLI alone, and 39 lesions (52.7%) could not be diagnosed or were difficult to diagnose using WLI alone. ME-NBI allowed for diagnosis in 27 (36.5%) of these 39 lesions, and this additional effect increased the rate of correct diagnosis to 83.8%. Comparison of the accurate demarcation diagnosis rate according to the degree of background mucosal status based on the Updated Sydney System32 revealed no significant difference in intestinal metaplasia between the normal-to-mild and moderate-to-marked groups (87.2% vs 77.8%). However, cases with milder atrophy, neutrophil, and mononuclear cell infiltration had a significantly higher accurate diagnosis rate (96.0% vs 77.6%, p<0.05; 94.0% vs 62.5%, p<0.05; 100% vs 78.6%, p<0.05, respectively).

To summarize, the diagnostic accuracy of demarcation with ME-NBI was approximately 80% in ESD and surgical cases, indicating that ME-NBI has an add-on effect of approximately 30% compared to conventional WLI. Therefore, in UD-type EGCs, ME-NBI is useful for delineating demarcation, regardless of tumor size. Additionally, inflammatory cell infiltration appeared to be a cause of misdiagnosis, suggesting that the resolution of inflammation could contribute to the accurate diagnosis of demarcation.

FEATURES OF UD-TYPE EGCS FOLLOWING H. PYLORI ERADICATION

H. pylori is a major cause of inflammation in the stomach.20,21 Therefore, eradication of H. pylori may improve the rate of accurate demarcation diagnosis. However, eradication of H. pylori with differentiated-type EGCs makes it difficult to demarcate cancer lesions as the luminal surface of the stomach is covered with gastritis-like tissue.23,24 To the best of our knowledge, there have been no reports of UD-type EGCs to date. Therefore, we compared accurate diagnosis rates for APC marking between patients with and without eradication of H. pylori to determine whether eradication was as beneficial as believed.28

The inclusion criteria for the eradication group were as follows: (1) negative H. pylori antibody or C urea breath test results if the patient underwent H. pylori eradication at our hospital or another hospital, or (2) confirmed negative urea breath test result ≥4 weeks after initiating H. pylori eradication if the patient was positive for H. pylori antibodies or had a positive urea breath test result at the first examination at our hospital. As such, the H. pylori-infected without eradication group did not meet these criteria and was labeled as the “non-eradication group.”

APC markings were made on the utmost oral and the utmost anal sides of each lesion diagnosed using ME-NBI. A correct diagnosis was defined as a diagnosis result matching the one determined from the pathological tissue slides.

Compared with the noncancerous region, the cancerous region shows an expansion of the distance between glands in UD-type EGCs.6 The intercrypt distance is defined as the distance between the center of a crypt and that of an adjacent crypt. Based on this, the intercrypt distance was measured at 5 to 10 points in each of the cancerous and noncancerous regions, and the mean distances were calculated from the measurements. The mean distance ratio of the noncancerous region to the cancerous region was calculated as the intercrypt distance ratio (Fig. 3). Based on this, the eradication and non-eradication groups consisted of 27 (27 lesions) and 33 (33 lesions) cases, respectively. In both groups, the lesions were discolored, the macroscopic type was mostly depressed, and the majority of lesions were located in the middle and lower regions of the stomach, with no difference between the groups.

Figure 3. Intercrypt distance expansion. The cancerous region shows an expansion of the distance between glands (intercrypt distance) compared with the noncancerous region. Taken from Horiuchi Y et al. Gastric Cancer 2018;21:988-997, with permission from Springer Nature.29

The diagnostic accuracy was significantly higher in the eradication group than in the non-eradication group (92.6% vs 60.6%, p<0.05). The mean intercrypt distance ratio was significantly higher in the eradication group than in the non-eradication group (1.94, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.69–2.2 vs 1.59, 95% CI 1.40–1.78; p<0.05). Comparison of the normal-mild inflammation of the background mucosa between the eradication and non-eradication groups revealed that neutrophil infiltration was significantly milder in the eradication group than in the non-eradication group (85.2% vs 57.6%, p<0.05). In contrast, no significant differences in atrophy, intestinal metaplasia, or mononuclear cells were observed between the eradication and non-eradication groups (44.4% vs 27.3%, 77.8% vs 66.7%, 40.7% vs 18.2%, respectively).

To summarize, the diagnostic accuracy rate was significantly higher in the eradication group than in the non-eradication group. This suggests that H. pylori eradication is beneficial for diagnostic demarcation and may improve the rate of curative resection with ESD. This is consistent with the findings of previous reports that inflammation disappears within 4 weeks following the eradication of H. pylori, in contrast to that in patients without H. pylori eradication.33 Neutrophil infiltration has also been reported to disappear within 4 weeks.34 These results indicate that when H. pylori is eradicated after cancer detection, the demarcation of the lesion is more defined after 4 weeks in patients who undergo H. pylori eradication than in those who do not.

However, it is not advisable to postpone ESD for UD-type EGCs for several months to confirm whether eradication is successful because UD-type EGCs may progress during this time. The current success rate of eradication is reported to be 92.6%.35 Therefore, it is important to assume that most patients benefit from eradication and to perform eradication as soon as cancer is detected and then perform ESD promptly without waiting to confirm whether the eradication has been successful.

H. PYLORI-UNINFECTED UD-TYPE EGCS

Most patients with gastric cancer are H. pylori positive,20,21 and the prevalence of H. pylori-uninfected EGCs is low; however, the UD type is predominant in H. pylori-uninfected EGCs.25 In general, the major characteristics of H. pylori-uninfected UD-type EGCs are as follows:29,36 color, discolored; location, the middle and/or lower regions; macroscopic type, flat; ME-NBI, extended intervening part; depth, mucosa; histological type, sig; diameter, small (Fig. 4).29 However, to the best of our knowledge, there have been no reports on the differences in endoscopic findings between H. pylori-uninfected and infected cases. Therefore, we compared the endoscopic findings between the H. pylori-uninfected and infected groups (i.e., the eradication and non-eradication groups).29

Figure 4. Endoscopic and pathologic findings of Helicobacter pylori-uninfected undifferentiated-type cancers. (A) Endoscopic findings with white-light imaging. The discolored area is relatively clearly recognizable. (B) Chromoendoscopic finding. (C) Findings of magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging. An extended intervening part is recognizable. (D) Pathological findings following endoscopic therapy. Signet ring cell carcinoma is confined to the proliferative zone of the mucosa. Taken from Horiuchi Y et al. Gastric Cancer 2018;21:988-997, with permission from Springer Nature.29

H. pylori-uninfected cases were defined as meeting all of the following criteria: (1) no prior H. pylori eradication; (2) negative urea breath test results (UBIT; Otsuka, Tokushima, Japan); (3) negative results for H. pylori antibodies (H. pylori antibody II: EIKEN Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan); (4) negative pepsinogen (PG) test results (positive cutoff value: PGI ≤70 ng/mL; PGI/II ratio ≤3); (5) endoscopically confirmed positive regular arrangement of collecting venules in the lower gastric body;37 and (6) a histologically confirmed H. pylori-uninfected case and negative inflammatory cell infiltration result based on the updated Sydney system.32

APC markings were made on utmost oral and the utmost anal sides of each lesion diagnosed using ME-NBI. The definitions of correct diagnosis and mean intercrypt distance ratio were the same as those described in the section (Features of UD-type EGCs following H. pylori eradication).

As a result, the uninfected group included 21 cases (21 lesions), the eradication group included 27 cases (27 lesions), and the non-eradication group included 33 cases (33 lesions). The common endoscopic features in all three groups were as follows: discoloration in the WLI and many sites were in the lower and middle regions of the stomach.

Compared to the non-eradication group, the uninfected group revealed a significantly greater number of cases of the flat type as macroscopic type (42.9% vs 3.0%, p=0.0004), with the extended intervening part noted in the ME-NBI findings (97.6% vs 63.6%, p<0.0001), with signet ring cell carcinoma as the histological type (100% vs 69.7%, p=0.0043), and significantly smaller tumor diameters (7.3±5.2 mm vs 14.6±9.0 mm, p=0.0002). Additionally, in the uninfected group, the accuracy of demarcation and mean intercrypt distance ratio were significantly higher (100% vs 60.6%, p=0.0007; 1.96 [95% CI, 1.70 to 2.21] vs 1.59 [95% CI, 1.40 to 1.78], p=0.0103, respectively) than those in the non-eradication group. Additionally, regarding atrophy, intestinal metaplasia, neutrophil infiltration, and mononuclear cell infiltration (indicative of inflammation of the background mucosa), the uninfected group had significantly milder cases than the non-eradication group (100% vs 27.3%, p<0.0001; 100% vs 66.7%, p=0.0038; 100% vs 57.6%, p=0.0003; 85.7% vs 18.2%, p<0.0001, respectively).

Compared to the eradication group, the uninfected group revealed a significantly greater number of cases of the flat rather than macroscopic type (42.9% vs 11.1%, p=0.0184), with the extended intervening part noted in the ME-NBI findings (97.6% vs 70.4%, p=0.0011), with signet ring cell carcinoma as the histological type (100% vs 63.0%, p=0.0064), and with significantly smaller tumor diameters (7.3±5.2 mm vs 13.6±7.3 mm, p=0.0008). Additionally, compared to the eradication group, the uninfected group had significantly milder cases of atrophy and mononuclear cell infiltration (indicative of inflammation of the background mucosa): 100% versus 44.4%, p<0.0001; 85.7% versus 40.7%, p=0.0026, respectively. Meanwhile, the accuracy of demarcation and the mean intercrypt distance ratio were not significantly different between the groups.

To summarize, the uninfected group was characterized by smaller tumor size, predominantly of a flat type, extended intervening parts in ME-NBI, and pure signet ring cell carcinoma in the histological type. In contrast, the eradication and non-eradication groups were characterized by larger tumor size, of a depressed type, and wavy microvessels in ME-NBI. In support of these characteristics in the uninfected group, the cancer proliferative potential was assessed using the MIB-1 labeling index to determine whether there was a difference in biological behavior between the uninfected and infected groups (Fig. 5).38 The uninfected group had a significantly lower proliferative capacity than the infected group. The tumor size was small owing to low proliferative potential, and the lesions remained in the middle layer of the mucosa instead of being exposed on the surface, resulting in the flat type as macroscopic type and an extended intervening part in ME-NBI (Fig. 1A). Regarding the presence of pure signet ring cell carcinoma in the histology, this lesion type is reported to have a lower risk of metastasis and a lower biological grade than mixed, poorly differentiated carcinoma.39,40 Further, its presence in uninfected patients may support its lower proliferative potential. There was no difference in the mean intercrypt distance ratio, accuracy, or neutrophil invasion in the background mucosa between the uninfected and eradication groups. Eradication might have resulted in neutrophil infiltration at a level similar to that of the uninfected group and the demarcation between cancerous and noncancerous regions was clearly defined, resulting in a similar diagnostic accuracy between the uninfected and eradicated groups. Meanwhile, in the non-eradication group, there was no difference in the intercrypt distance between the cancer and non-cancer groups due to neutrophil infiltration, and the demarcation between cancerous and noncancerous regions was unclear, resulting in a lower diagnostic accuracy (Fig. 6).

Figure 5. The MIB-1 labeling index. The vertical axis shows the number of patients, and the horizontal axis shows the MIB-1 labeling index. The MIB-1 labeling index was significantly higher in Helicobacter pylori-positive (HP+) patients than in H. pylori-negative (HP−) patients (p<0.0001). Taken from Horiuchi Y et al. Gastric Cancer 2016;19:160-165, with permission from Springer Nature.38

Figure 6. Schema of pathological images arranged by Helicobacter pylori infection status. (A) In the non-eradication group, there is no difference in the intercrypt distance between the cancerous and noncancerous regions due to neutrophil infiltration, and the demarcation is unclear. (B) In the eradication group, the neutrophil infiltration is improved, and the difference in the intercrypt distance is clearly visible, making the demarcation clear. (C) In the uninfected group, there is no neutrophil infiltration; therefore, the difference in the intercrypt distance is clearly visible and the demarcation is clear.

CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS

The usefulness of ME-NBI in diagnosing the demarcation of UD-type EGCs and the endoscopic characteristics of eradicated and uninfected cases were reviewed. In UD-type EGCs, ME-NBI was found to be useful for delineating demarcation, regardless of tumor size. Additionally, inflammatory cell infiltration appears to be a major cause of misdiagnosis, suggesting that the resolution of inflammation could contribute to the accurate diagnosis of demarcation. Therefore, the accuracy of demarcation was higher in eradicated and uninfected cases than in non-eradicated cases. The common features of the endoscopic findings included discoloration under WLI and a predominance of lesions in the lower and middle regions across all three groups. The uninfected group was more common than the eradication and non-eradication groups and was characterized by smaller tumor size, flat type, extended intervening parts in ME-NBI, and pure signet ring cell carcinoma.

With the increasing prevalence of eradication therapy for chronic gastritis41 and the low proportion of H. pylori infection among young patients,42,43 the number of eradicated and uninfected cases of UD-type EGCs is expected to increase. As indicated in this study, diagnosis with ME-NBI will be useful to improve the curative resection rate by ESD. However, ME-NBI requires skill and has a steep learning curve, although e-learning and artificial intelligence have been reported to assist in diagnosis.44-46 In addition, the feasibility of further expansion of ESD indications for UD-type EGCs has been reported,47,48 and the accuracy of pretreatment diagnosis of UD-type EGCs is expected to become more important. Therefore, further improvement in endoscopists’ diagnostic skills, and the environment for such improvement, are expected.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Y.H. reports receiving a Grant-in-Aid for Early-Career Scientists (21K15962), the Japanese Foundation for Research and Promotion of Endoscopy Grant, an academic grant from the Japanese Gastric Cancer Association Research Committee, and personal fees for specific speaking and teaching commitments involving honoraria from Olympus Corp. and Kaken Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. The remaining authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Fig 1.

Figure 1.Undifferentiated-type early gastric cancer (UD-type EGC) invasion collated with magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging (ME-NBI) findings. (A) If the UD-type EGC remains in the proliferative zone, it can be observed as an extended intervening part of ME-NBI. (B) If UD-type EGC is found to extend from the proliferative zone to the superficial layer, wavy microvessels are observed on ME-NBI. (C) If UD-type EGC extends across the whole layer, it is observed as a cork-screw pattern in ME-NBI. Taken from Horiuchi Y et al. Gastric Cancer 2016;19:515-523, with permission from Springer Nature.26
Gut and Liver 2024; 18: 209-217https://doi.org/10.5009/gnl230106

Fig 2.

Figure 2.Actual argon plasma coagulation (APC)-marking images. The dotted lines indicate the tumor border region, as viewed under white-light imaging (WLI). The arrow indicates a tumor border region as viewed using magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging (ME-NBI). (A) Tumor border at the utmost oral site under WLI. (B) Demarcation line as viewed using ME-NBI (coinciding with A). (C) A higher magnification view of B. (D) An APC marking placed on the demarcation line. (E) Tumor border at the utmost anal site under WLI. (F) Demarcation line as viewed using ME-NBI (inconsistent with E). (G) A higher magnification view of F. (H) An APC marking placed on the demarcation line. Taken from Horiuchi Y et al. Gastric Cancer 2016;19:515-523, with permission from Springer Nature.26
Gut and Liver 2024; 18: 209-217https://doi.org/10.5009/gnl230106

Fig 3.

Figure 3.Intercrypt distance expansion. The cancerous region shows an expansion of the distance between glands (intercrypt distance) compared with the noncancerous region. Taken from Horiuchi Y et al. Gastric Cancer 2018;21:988-997, with permission from Springer Nature.29
Gut and Liver 2024; 18: 209-217https://doi.org/10.5009/gnl230106

Fig 4.

Figure 4.Endoscopic and pathologic findings of Helicobacter pylori-uninfected undifferentiated-type cancers. (A) Endoscopic findings with white-light imaging. The discolored area is relatively clearly recognizable. (B) Chromoendoscopic finding. (C) Findings of magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging. An extended intervening part is recognizable. (D) Pathological findings following endoscopic therapy. Signet ring cell carcinoma is confined to the proliferative zone of the mucosa. Taken from Horiuchi Y et al. Gastric Cancer 2018;21:988-997, with permission from Springer Nature.29
Gut and Liver 2024; 18: 209-217https://doi.org/10.5009/gnl230106

Fig 5.

Figure 5.The MIB-1 labeling index. The vertical axis shows the number of patients, and the horizontal axis shows the MIB-1 labeling index. The MIB-1 labeling index was significantly higher in Helicobacter pylori-positive (HP+) patients than in H. pylori-negative (HP−) patients (p<0.0001). Taken from Horiuchi Y et al. Gastric Cancer 2016;19:160-165, with permission from Springer Nature.38
Gut and Liver 2024; 18: 209-217https://doi.org/10.5009/gnl230106

Fig 6.

Figure 6.Schema of pathological images arranged by Helicobacter pylori infection status. (A) In the non-eradication group, there is no difference in the intercrypt distance between the cancerous and noncancerous regions due to neutrophil infiltration, and the demarcation is unclear. (B) In the eradication group, the neutrophil infiltration is improved, and the difference in the intercrypt distance is clearly visible, making the demarcation clear. (C) In the uninfected group, there is no neutrophil infiltration; therefore, the difference in the intercrypt distance is clearly visible and the demarcation is clear.
Gut and Liver 2024; 18: 209-217https://doi.org/10.5009/gnl230106

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Gut and Liver

Vol.18 No.2
March, 2024

pISSN 1976-2283
eISSN 2005-1212

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