Background: Atrophic gastritis (AG) is often considered an autoimmune disorder and is associated with other autoimmune diseases. HLA-DRB1 alleles are often associated with autoimmune diseases, however HLA-DRB1 genotyping data in AG patients are lacking. The objective of the study was to evaluate the prevalence of HLA-DRB1 in AG patients. Methods: The occurrence of HLA-DRB1 alleles was assessed in 89 Italian AG patients (69.1% female) and 313 controls (47.3% females). Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral venous blood, PCR-coamplified for HLA-DRB1 and typed using a reverse line-blot assay. Results: Compared to controls, prevalence of HLA-DRB1*03 (28.1% vs. 15.9%, p = 0.01) and HLA-DRB1*04 (25.8% vs. 14.4%, p = 0.01) was greater in AG patients, conferring an OR of 2.05 and 2.07, respectively. HLA-DRB1*01 occurred more frequently in controls than in AG patients (11.5% vs. 3.4%, p = 0.01) conferring an OR of 0.27. AG patients carrying the HLA-DRB1*03 or *04 alleles were characterised by having more frequently autoimmune thyroid disease (70.4% vs. 42.2%, p = 0.01) and intestinal metaplasia (86.4% vs. 62.2%, p = 0.01). Conclusions: In our population, over 50% of AG patients carry the HLA-DRB1*03 or *04 alleles associated with autoimmune diseases, suggesting that this subset of AG patients has a genetic predisposition to autoimmunity. (C) 2010 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
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