Background and aim. Atrophic gastritis is a precancerous gastric lesion, therefore its early detection is a priority in preventing gastric cancer. The aim of the present paper is to develop a narrative synthesis of the present knowledge on diagnostic methods of chronic atrophic gastritis.

Methods. A literature search was carried out on main databases: PubMed, Hinari, SpringerLink and Scopus (Elsevier) for the period 2000-2020. The searched keywords were: chronic atrophic gastritis, intestinal metaplasia and dysplasia + diagnosis. Inclusion criteria were focused on the articles about the invasive and non-invasive diagnosis of chronic atrophic gastritis and of precancerous gastric lesions, intestinal metaplasia and dysplasia; exclusion criteria were articles published before 2000 and those that did not include the proposed theme.

Results. The search returned 575 papers addressing the topic of precancerous lesions. From these, 60 articles were qualified representative for the materials published on the topic of this synthesis article, being those that met the inclusion criteria. The data emphasize the need to use upper digestive endoscopy with biopsies for the diagnosis of chronic atrophic gastritis. However serological diagnosis is available as alternative mainly recommended in follow up.

Conclusions. There are two main methodological approaches for the evaluation of chronic atrophic gastritis as a precancerous gastric lesions: invasive examination, which requires histological analysis of biopsy samples taken during upper digestive endoscopy, being the "gold standard" for diagnosis, and non-invasive serological examination using markers of gastric function.


chronic atrophic gastritis, gastric cancer, Helicobacter pylori.