Background: In patients with atrophic gastritis involving gastric body mucosa the pH value of gastric juice is distinctly increased, so that pH assessment would allow predict this precancerous lesion. We tested whether EndoFaster® − a device allowing real-time pH measure and H. pylori diagnosis – may optimize the need of taking gastric biopsies. Methods: In this prospective, multicentre study, the accuracy of EndoFaster® for ruling out gastric atrophy involving corporal mucosa was assessed. Real-time pH and ammonium determination was performed by aspirating 3–6 ml gastric juice during endoscopy. Histology performed on 5 standard gastric biopsies was used as gold standard. Results: A total of 1008 consecutive patients were observed in 12 centres. At histology, gastric body mucosa atrophy/metaplasia was detected in 65 (6.4%) cases, and a pH value >4.5 in the gastric juice was observed in 150 patients. The values of EndoFaster® performance in predicting the presence of atrophic gastritis were as follow: 51% sensitivity, 84% specificity, 18% PPV, 96% NPV, and 82% accuracy. The NPV value was not distinctly affected by neither ongoing proton pump inhibitor therapy nor H. pylori infection. By considering also data of ammonium concentrations, the values of EndoFaster® in detecting extensive atrophy on gastric mucosa were 74% sensitivity, 84% specificity, 24% PPV, 98% NPV, and 83% accuracy. Conclusion: The very high NPV of EndoFaster® might allow to safely rule out presence of atrophic gastritis, reducing the need of taking gastric biopsies in unselected patients managed in clinical practice
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