Pathology dictionary -

Intestinal metaplasia

Intestinal metaplasia is a non-cancerous change that happens when the cells normally found in a tissue are damaged and are replaced by cells normally found in the small intestine (small bowel).

Although intestinal metaplasia is a non-cancerous change, in some areas of the body it is associated with a small risk of developing cancer in the future. The risk of cancer associated with intestinal metaplasia is higher if another type of change called dysplasia is also seen in the same tissue.

Where in the body does intestinal metaplasia happen?

Intestinal metaplasia can develop in any type of tissue although it is most commonly diagnosed in the esophagus and stomach. Another name for intestinal metaplasia in the esophagus is Barretts esophagus.

Why does intestinal metaplasia happen?

Intestinal metaplasia often develop after many years of ongoing injury to a tissue. In the esophagus, the injury is caused by acid from the stomach moving back up into the esophagus. The acid damages the cells that normally cover the inside surface of the esophagus.

In the stomach, the injury is usually caused by a bacteria called Helicobacter that infects the stomach and damages the cells that cover the inside surface of the stomach.

How does a pathologist make the diagnosis of intestinal metaplasia?

Pathologists make this diagnosis after examining a sample of tissue under the microscope. No other special tests are usually required to make the diagnosis. If you have been diagnosed with acid reflux disease (GERD) or Helicobacter infection, your doctor may remove a small sample of tissue in a procedure called a biopsy and send it to a pathologist to look for intestinal metaplasia.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Copyright 2017 MyPathologyReport.ca

For more information about this site, contact us at info@mypathologyreport.ca.

Disclaimer: The articles on MyPathologyReport are intended for general informational purposes only and they do not address individual circumstances. The articles on this site are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the MyPathologyReport site. The articles on MyPathologyReport.ca are intended for use within Canada by residents of Canada only.

Droits d'auteur 2017 MyPathologyReport.ca
Pour plus d'informations sur ce site, contactez-nous à info@mypathologyreport.ca.
Clause de non-responsabilité: Les articles sur MyPathologyReport ne sont destinés qu’à des fins d'information et ne tiennent pas compte des circonstances individuelles. Les articles sur ce site ne remplacent pas les avis médicaux professionnels, diagnostics ou traitements et ne doivent pas être pris en compte pour la prise de décisions concernant votre santé. Ne négligez jamais les conseils d'un professionnel de la santé à cause de quelque chose que vous avez lu sur le site de MyPathologyReport. Les articles sur MyPathologyReport.ca sont destinés à être utilisés au Canada, par les résidents du Canada uniquement.