Hepatocyte Antigen as a Marker of Intestinal Metaplasia
Intestinal metaplasia is a histologic hallmark of Barrett's esophagus and chronic gastritis. Intestinal metaplasia may progress to dysplasia or carcinomas without proper treatment. Most cases of intestinal metaplasia are easily recognized on hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections. However, some cases of intestinal metaplasia may be hard to recognize if they lack the characteristic mucin-producing cells and Paneth cells, or if they are small in size. Recently, keratin 7, keratin 20, and MUC2 expression patterns were reported to be useful in confirming the diagnosis of intestinal metaplasia. We studied hepatocyte (Hep) antigen (a hepatocellular antigen mainly expressing in normal and neoplastic hepatic tissues) in 33 cases of Barrett's esophagus (9 cases associated with esophageal adenocarcinoma) and 13 cases of chronic gastritis associated with intestinal metaplasia and gastric adenocarcinoma. Hep monoclonal antibody recognizes intestinal metaplasia in all cases. We also compared expression of Hep with that of keratin 7, keratin 20, and MUC2 in intestinal metaplasia. The specificity and sensitivity of Hep for intestinal metaplasia were higher than that of keratin 7 and keratin 20, or MUC2. We conclude that Hep may be used as a single diagnostic marker for intestinal metaplasia.