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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Autoimmune atrophic gastritis


* Not a rare disease

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Autoimmune atrophic gastritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy cells of the stomach lining. Overtime, this can wear away the stomach's protective barrier and interfere with the absorption of several key vitamins (i.e. vitamin B12, iron, folate). In some cases, autoimmune atrophic gastritis does not cause any obvious signs and symptoms. However, some people may experience nausea, vomiting, a feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating, abdominal pain and/or vitamin deficiencies. The condition is associated with an increased risk of pernicious anemia, gastric polyps and gastric adenocarcinoma.[1][2] Although the underlying genetic cause has not been identified, studies suggest that the condition may be inherited in an autosomal dominant manner in some families.[3] Treatment is based on the signs and symptoms present in each person, but may include vitamin B12 injections and endoscopic surveillance.[4][5]
Last updated: 10/21/2015


  1. Pamela J Jensen, MD; Mark Feldman, MD, MACP, AGAF, FACG. Metaplastic (chronic) atrophic gastritis. UpToDate. September 2015; Accessed 10/20/2015.
  2. Miceli E, Lenti MV, Padula D, Luinetti O, Vattiato C, Monti CM, Di Stefano M, Corazza GR. Common features of patients with autoimmune atrophic gastritis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. July 2012; 10(7):812-814.
  3. Nafea Zayouna, MD. Atrophic Gastritis. Medscape Reference. December 2014;
  4. Park JY, Lam-Himlin D, Vemulapalli R. Review of autoimmune metaplastic atrophic gastritis. Gastrointest Endosc. February 2013; 77(2):284-292.
  5. Neumann WL, Coss E, Rugge M, Genta RM. Autoimmune atrophic gastritis--pathogenesis, pathology and management. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. September 2013; 10(9):529-541.
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Basic Information

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Merck Manual for health care professionals provides information on Autoimmune atrophic gastritis.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Autoimmune atrophic gastritis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.