• gastric cancer;
  • gastrin;
  • Helicobacter pylori

OBJECTIVE:  To investigate the influence of gender, age, site of lesion, disease type and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection on the human serum gastrin-17 level and to study the diagnostic value of serum gastrin-17 in gastric precancerous lesions and gastric cancer.

METHODS:  Serum gastrin-17 and serum H. pylori IgG antibody were detected by the ELISA method. The different gastric disease groups were confirmed by endoscopy and histopathology.

RESULTS:  Among the 3906 serum samples according to the gender, age, site of lesion and the data of different gastric disease groups, the serum gastrin-17 level was markedly higher in people ≥60 years old than that in younger age groups. The serum gastrin-17 level increased progressively in the following order: healthy control group, nonatrophic gastritis group, gastric ulcer group, and the serum gastrin-17 level was higher in the atrophic gastritis with dysplasia group than that without it, the lowest level being in the gastric cancer group. Among the 2946 serum samples matched with the site of the lesion, the serum gastrin-17 level was higher in those with antral diseases than in those with gastric corpus diseases. Among the 3805 serum samples matched with the H. pylori infection data, the serum gastrin-17 level was higher in the H. pylori-positive group than in the H. pylori-negative group.

CONCLUSIONS:  In people over 60 years of age, the serum gastrin-17 level tends to increase. In subjects with precancerous gastric lesions, it may increase significantly with the progression of gastric disease, and ultimately decrease in gastric cancer. Serum gastrin-17 is a good biomarker to differentiate benign from malignant gastric diseases. The site of the gastric lesions is an important factor affecting the serum gastrin-17 level, whereas H. pylori infection is usually associated with its increment.