Health Questions and Answers

Question: Describe lymphocytic gastritis.


Lymphocytic gastritis (LG) is a special form of gastritis, which is characterized by the accumulation of intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) containing cytotoxic granules in the surface and foveolar epithelium. The number of IELs in normal gastric mucosa is between 3 and 8 per 100 epithelial cells; a minimal number of 30 IELs per 100 epithelial cells is usually accepted for the diagnosis of LG. LG is usually asymptomatic. Patients occasionally present with epigastric pain or anorexia. It often occurs in association with H. pylori infection and celiac disease. However, only 2-4% of patients with H. pylori infection will develop LG. There is no specific therapy for LG. However, patients who are serologically positive for H. pylori, but negative by all other diagnostic techniques, may still respond to antimicrobial therapy for that organism.


  • Hayat M, Arora DS, Dixon MF: Effects of Helicobacter pylori eradication on the natural history of lymphocytic gastritis. Gut 45(4):495-498, 1999.
  • Oberhuber G, Bodingbauer M, Mosberger I: High proportion of granzyme B-positive (activated) intraepithelial and lamina propria lymphocytes in lymphocytic gastritis. Am J Surg Pathol 22(4):450-458, 1998.

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