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gastric lymphoid follicles

Thursday 10 November 2005

Lymphoid aggregates with germinal centers are characteristic of chronic Helicobacter pylori gastritis and a hallmark of this diagnosis.

There is sampling error in determining their prevalence, but if sufficient biopsy specimens are examined, they are found in 100% of H. pylori positive cases.

Grading a feature whose prevalence is determined by the number of biopsy specimens taken is not indicated; however, the presence of follicles should be noted in the microscopic description.

Lymphoid follicles in a Helicobacter-negative case suggest that the organisms have been missed (either overlooked or not present because of sampling errors) or that the infection has been cleared.

If large or irregularly shaped lymphoid follicles are noted or large portions of the mucosa are occupied by a dense population of lymphocytes, the possibility of a mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma should be considered.