Objective: Pernicious anemia (PA) develops from atrophic gastritis due to autoimmune destruction of parietal cells and results in achlorhydria, vitamin B12 and iron deficiencies, anemia, neurologic deficits, and premalignant and malignant stomach lesions. We report the presentation, diagnosis and gastric complications of PA in patients from an endocrinology practice. Methods: Thirty-four patients (31 female, 3 male) with PA who underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) or gastrectomy were identified. Pertinent clinical, laboratory, and pathology findings were reviewed and summarized. Results: The mean age of patients was 58.6 ± 14.2 years; the onset of PA was age 50.2 ± 15.3 years. Anemia reflected vitamin B12 and/or iron deficiencies. Parietal cell antibodies (PCA) were detected in 97% of patients, and intrinsic factor blocking antibody (IFBA) was found in 52%. Fasting gastrin and chromogranin A levels were elevated (1,518.0 ± 1,588.3 pg/mL, and 504.9.1 ± 1,524.9 ng/mL respectively). Autoimmune or immunologic diseases (AIDs) were present in 32/34 patients. Stomach pathology showed premalignant or malignant lesions in 26 patients, including gastric neuroendocrine tumors (GNETs) in 6 and adenocarcinoma in 1. One patient presented with neurologic symptoms and subacute combined degeneration of the posterior column of the spinal cord. Conclusion: PA should be suspected in patients with unexplained anemia or neurologic symptoms. The diagnosis of PA relies on fasting gastrin and gastric auto-antibody testing, in addition to hematologic evaluation. EGD with measurement of gastric pH and biopsies of the fundus and antrum identifies patients with achlorhydria, atrophic gastritis, and premalignant and malignant stomach lesions. EGD surveillance of patients with high-risk stomach lesions is recommended. (Endocr Pract.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1297-1303
Number of pages7
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017


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