AIM: To clarify the role of serum anti-Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) antibody titers in gastric cancer. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, the effect of patients' baseline characteristics and endoscopic findings on their serum antibody titers were assessed. We evaluated consecutive patients who underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy and their first evaluation for H. pylori infection using a serum antibody test. We excluded patients with a history of eradication therapy. The participants were divided into four groups according to their E-plate serum antibody titer. Patients with serum antibody titers < 3, 3-9.9, 10-49.9, and ≥ 50 U/mL were classified into groups A, B, C, and D, respectively. RESULTS In total, 874 participants were analyzed with 70%, 16%, 8.7%, and 5.1% of them in the groups A, B, C, and D, respectively. Patients in group C were older than patients in groups A and B. Gastric open-type atrophy, intestinal metaplasia, enlarged folds, diffuse redness, and duodenal ulcers were associated with a high titer. Regular arrangements of collecting venules, fundic gland polyps, superficial gastritis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease were related to a low titer. Multivariate analysis revealed that nodularity (P = 0.0094), atrophy (P = 0.0076), and age 40-59 years (vs age ≥ 60 years, P = 0.0090) were correlated with a high serum antibody titer in H. pylori-infected patients. Intestinal metaplasia and atrophy were related to age ≥ 60 years in group C and D. CONCLUSION: Serum antibody titer changes with age, reflects gastric mucosal inflammation, and is useful in predicting the risk of gastric cancer.
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