J Korean Med Sci.  2017 May;32(5):796-802. 10.3346/jkms.2017.32.5.796.

Link between Serum Pepsinogen Concentrations and Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Findings

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Digestive Disease Center, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. sunyoung@kuh.ac.kr


The serum pepsinogen (PG) assay findings are correlated with the status of Helicobacter pylori infection, but there are controversies on the link with upper gastrointestinal (UGI) endoscopic findings. The aim of this study was to determine the significance of a serum PG assay for correlating with endoscopic findings in H. pylori-seroprevalent adult population. Korean adults who visited for a health check-up were included consecutively. Subjects after gastrectomy or H. pylori eradication were excluded. After completing the serum PG assay and anti-H. pylori immunoglobulin G (IgG) titer on the same day of UGI endoscopy, subjects with equivocal serology test finding or gastric neoplasm were excluded. Of the 4,830 included subjects, 3,116 (64.5%) were seropositive for H. pylori. Seropositive finding was related to high serum PG I (P < 0.001) and PG II (P < 0.001) concentrations, low PG I/II ratio (P < 0.001), old age (P < 0.001), and male gender (P = 0.006). After adjusting age and gender, the serum PG I and II concentrations were positively correlated with the presence of nodular gastritis (NG) (all P = 0.003). The serum PG I was positively correlated with gastric ulcer (P = 0.003), and it was correlated with duodenal ulcer in seropositive subjects (P = 0.008). The PG I/II ratio was positively correlated with erosive esophagitis, while it was inversely related to chronic atrophic gastritis and metaplastic gastritis (all P < 0.001). Our findings suggest that the serum PG assay finding correlates well with the UGI endoscopic finding. A higher serum PG concentration in subjects with NG and peptic ulcer disease suggests that endoscopic findings reflect gastric secreting ability.


Endoscopy; Gastritis; Helicobacter pylori; Pepsinogen; Upper Gastrointestinal
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