Gastric intestinal metaplasia: when to treat? How to treat?
Purpose of review Gastric intestinal metaplasia (GIM) is an attractive target for surveillance and treatment as it can progress to gastric adenocarcinoma (GAC). Yet, GIM remains a challenging area for clinicians as most patients do not progress to cancer, and there are conflicting data regarding the benefits of surveillance and therapy. This review aims to summarize recently published GIM surveillance guidelines, to discuss, which patients with GIM may benefit from treatment, and to review pivotal and recent literature on GIM therapy. Recent findings Guidelines published by American, British, and European gastroenterology societies do not recommend universal surveillance, but do suggest endoscopic surveillance in patients with risk factors for progression to GAC. Although light examination for at least 7 min and mapping biopsies may increase yield for dysplasia and GAC. In randomized trials, Helicobacter pylori eradication reduced risk of dysplasia and cancer. In GIM with visible dysplasia and early-stage GAC, endoscopic resection improves quality of life without reducing survival compared with surgery. Endoscopic ablation therapies have shown promise for invisible or extensive dysplasia. Summary Endoscopic resection is appropriate for visible dysplasia and early-stage GAC without high-risk features that persists despite H. pylori eradication therapy. Prospective studies are needed to assess the utility of endoscopic ablation in GIM.