Sanloff IM et al.
Gastroenterology, 83: 204-209, 1982.
To examine the possible effect of gastritis on the endocrine component of pepsinogen secretion, we determined relationships among gastric mucosal histologic characteristics and serum levels of pepsinogen I and pepsinogen II in 170 first-degree relatives of patients with pernicious anemia. Sixty four had normal fundic gland mucosa, 66 had superficial gastritis, 17 had mild or moderate atrophic gastritis, and 23 had severe atrophic gastritis. In superficial gastritis, serum pepsinogen I and pepsinogen II were both significantly higher than normal, but the percentage rise in pepsinogen II was significantly greater than the rise in pepsinogen I. In mild moderate atrophic gastritis, pepsinogen I did not differ from normal, but pepsinogen II was significantly elevated, while in severe atrophic gastritis, pepsinogen II did not differ from normal, but pepsinogen I was significantly decreased. The nonparallel changes in serum pepsinogen I and pepsinogen II levels resulted in a decrease in the pepsinogen I to pepsinogen II ratio from 6.2 ± 0.2 in subjects with normal fundic gland mucosa to 4.3 ± 0.2, 2.9 ± 0.4, and 0.7 ± 0.2, respectively, in those with superficial gastritis, mild to moderate atrophic gastritis, and severe atrophic gastritis. The pepsinogen I to pepsinogen II ratio in combination with the absolute level of serum pepsinogen I correctly predicted the histologic status of the gastric mucosa in 119 of the 170 subjects, 70.0%.
The results indicate that (a) increasing severity of gastritis is associated with nonparallel alterations in serum levels of pepsinogen I and pepsinogen II, (b) that these changes lead to a progressive decrease in the pepsinogen I to pepsinogen II ratio, and (c) that the pepsinogen I to pepsinogen II ratio, in combination with pepsinogen I, is predictive of the histologic status of the gastric mucosa.