Background/Aims: Although serum pepsinogen (PG) is considered as a marker of gastric atrophy, it also reflects gastric acid secretion, which closely influences dyspeptic symptoms. We investigated serum PG levels and PGI/PGII ratios in dyspeptic patients, in relation to various different subtypes of symptoms including Rome III classifications. Methodology: Serum PGs were measured in 75 subjects with dyspeptic symptoms and 42 asymptomatic healthy subjects. Results: PG II level was significantly higher (p=0.0001) and PG I/II ratio was significantly lower (p<0.0001) in subjects with H. pylori infection than those without, while no associations were found between PG levels and usage of H2 receptor antagonists or proton-pump inhibitors. In all subjects with pain in stomach, abdominal bloating and PDS-like symptoms according to Rome III criteria, presented significantly higher levels of PGI, compared to subjects without symptoms (p=0.043, 0.015 and 0.037, respectively). In addition, burning sensation and abdominal pain presented significantly higher PGI/II ratios (p=0.0005 and 0.003, respectively), and higher PGI/II ratio was also positively correlated with a number of symptoms (p=0.04). When subjects were divided according to H. pylori infection status, higher PGI/II ratio was significantly associated with abdominal pain in H. pylori negative subjects (p=0.03), while higher PGI level was significantly associated with functional esophageal disorders (FEG) according to Rome III criteria, and higher number of dyspeptic symptoms in H. pylori positive subjects (p=0.016). Conclusions: Our data suggest that subjects with higher PGI level, and PG I/II ratio are more likely to develop several dyspeptic symptoms.
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