This is an extremely confusing subject. The term was often loosely used to describe a gastroscopic picture or invoked to explain indigestion especially if this followed some dietary excess. However many of the changes of so called hypertophic gastritis seen on gasstroscopy are now thought to be due to changes in mucosal blood flow, mucus production and tone of the muscularis mucosae. Indeed, when a comparison was made between gastric biopsy findings and endoscopic observation the correlation was extremely poor. The term gastritis should really be confined to the conditions where true inflammation is present in the mucosa. It may be either diffuse or localized. Diffuse gastritis may either be acue or chronic. Acute gastritis may be due to the ingestion of irritant substances, such as drugs, corrosives, and alcohol. Once the irritation has stopped the mucosa rapidly regenerates and the condition does not continue into a chronic from. Clinically it has a brief course with abdominal discomfort and sometimes vomiting. Currently chronic gassritis is divided into superficial gasstritis, atrophic gastrits, and also gastric atrophy, the latter condition being associated with pernicious anaemia, when beside complete achlorhydria there is a high titre of circulating homoeopathic to parietal cells and intrinsic factor. The patient is usually an alcoholic, may have had a respiratory infection and presents with upper abdominal pain, fever and peritionitis.