Assessment of different methods for staining Helicobacter pylori in endoscopic gastric biopsies

Jehoram T. Anim, Nabil Al-Sobkie, Asha Prasad, Bency John, Prem Sharma, Ibtissarn Al-Hamar

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18 Citations (Scopus)


The recent implication of Helicobacter pylori in the pathogenesis of gastritis-peptic ulcer syndrome and its relevance for the development of upper gastrointestinal malignancy warrant efficient methods for the detection and demonstration of the organism in biopsy specimens. We have compared 5 staining methods, namely, haematoxylin and eosin (H and E), immunohistochemistry (IHC), the silver staining HpSS, the alcian yellow- toluidine blue (Leung) method (A-Y) and Genta staining, for the demonstration of the organism in gastric biopsies taken from antrum, body and fundus of 118 patients who presented to our hospital with upper gastrointestinal symptoms. We found no significant differences in the efficacy of H and E, IHC, HpSS and A-Y in the demonstration of H. pylori in all 3 gastric sites. The least reproducible stain in our hands was the Genta stain. We conclude that H and E is adequate for the initial assessment of gastric biopsies in symptomatic upper gastrointestinal patients. This is because it is a well-tested, cheap and easy staining method, requiring a relatively short period of time to perform, with highly reproducible results. It has an added advantage of enabling simultaneous assessment of morphological changes accompanying H. pylori infection. When the density of the organism is expected to be low, we recommend addition of HpSS staining because of its high sensitivity and low cost. The disadvantages of the other staining methods (IHC, A-Y and Genta) are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalActa Histochemica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Gastritis
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Histochemical staining
  • Peptic ulcer


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