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Effect of longterm misoprostol coadministration with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: a histological study.
  1. K Shah,
  2. A B Price,
  3. I C Talbot,
  4. K D Bardhan,
  5. C G Fenn,
  6. I Bjarnason
  1. Department of Histopathology, Northwick Park Hospital, London.


    Prostaglandins are widely used in the prevention and healing of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) induced gastric and duodenal ulcers, but their longterm effect on the human gastric mucosa is unknown. This study assessed the effect of coadministration of prostaglandins with NSAIDs on the histology of the gastroduodenal mucosa. Histological appearances (using the Sydney system) of gastric biopsy specimens from 180 patients receiving longterm NSAID treatment of whom 90 had been receiving misoprostol (400-800 micrograms/day) for one to two years were studied. Both groups of patients were comparable with regard to clinical and demographic details. There was no significant difference (p > 0.1) in the prevalence of chronic gastritis (total, corpus or antrum only) between patients receiving (36 of 90 (40%)) or not receiving misoprostol (35 of 90 (39%)). Chronic gastritis was equally associated with the presence of Helicobacter pylori, 86% and 73% (p > 0.1), respectively, in the two groups. Significantly fewer patients receiving misoprostol had reactive gastritis than those receiving only NSAIDs (8 (9%) versus 27 (30%), p < 0.01). Reactive gastritis was not associated with H pylori. Thirty nine (43%) of the misoprostol treated patients had normal histology compared with 16 (18%) receiving only NSAIDs (p < 0.01). These results show two different patterns of gastric damage in patients receiving NSAIDs, namely chronic and reactive gastritis. Misoprostol treatment was associated with a significantly reduced prevalence of reactive gastritis and it is suggested that this, along with its antisecretory action, may explain the reduced prevalence of gastroduodenal lesions when coadministered with NSAIDs.

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