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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2006 February;97(1):47-50


language: English

Role of Helicobacter pylori infection in peptic ulcer haemorrhage

Morgando A., Giordanino C., Baronio M., Pellicano R., Rizzetto M.

Department of Gastro-Hepatology Molinette Hospital, Turin, Italy


Aim. In spite of the diffusion of endoscopic treatment, mortality rate due to peptic ulcer haemorrhage (PUH) remains high. Helicobac-ter pylori (H. pylori) infection and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the 2 main aetiological factors, but their interactive role is controversial. The aim of this study was to determine both the prevalence of H. pylori infection and NSAIDs consumption in PUH and their prognostic importance.
Methods. In a prospective study, 41 consecutive patients (33 males, 8 females) admitted for PUH were recruited. H. pylori status was investigated both by measuring specific antibodies in serum and by histological detection on gastric biopsies obtained after one month from bleeding. In case of doubt, either a 13C urea breath test, or a stool antigen test were associated. All patients were treated with medical therapy associated to endoscopic treatment in most severe cases.
Results. Sixteen patients were infected from H. pylori (group A), 12 had a history of NSAIDs consumption (group B), and 13 had both risk factors (group C). The median duration of hospitalisation was 7 days for each group and correlated with age (P<0.04). Severity of PUH (high risk of rebleeding) was higher in group A (13/16; 81%) and group C (9/13; 69%), with respect to group B (6/12; 50%). This difference was not significant.
Conclusion. H. pylori infection has a predominant role in causing PUH as well as in the prognosis and clinical course of this condition. Hence, it is important to determine H. pylori status in every patient with PUH.

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