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Minerva Medica 2010 April;101(2):121-5

Copyright © 2010 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Potential link between Helicobacter pylori and ischemic heart disease: does the bacterium elicit thrombosis?

Fagoonee S., De Angelis C., Elia C., Silvano S., Oliaro E., Rizzetto M., Pellicano R.

1 Department of Biology, Biochmestry and Genetics and Molecular Biotechnology Center, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 2 Unit of Gastro-Hepatology, Ospedale S.Giovanni Battista (Molinette), Turin, Italy; 3 Department of Cardiology, Ospedale S.Giovanni Battista (Molinette),Turin, Italy


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Over the past fifteen years, numerous observations have linked Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection to ischemic heart disease (IHD). Despite the controversial literature data, it has been postulated that if a role is plausible, it will be in the early events of the acute coronary syndrome. According to this model, we focused on the potential pathogenic mechanisms relating H. pylori to IHD like platelet aggregation and thrombosis. To identify all publications in this field, a MEDLINE search of studies published in English from 1965 to 2009 was conducted. Although very few investigations were found, these showed data of paramount importance. In particular, it has been demonstrated that some strains of H. pylori bind von Willebrand factor and interact with glycoprotein Ib to induce platelet aggregation in humans. In experiments from animal models, such infection promoted the formation of platelet aggregates by both a marked increase in the flux of rolling leukocytes and the appearance of platelet and leukocyte-platelet aggregates in gastric venules. This aggregate formation was abrogated by antibodies against specific adhesion molecules (L- and P-selectin). The future challenge is to gain more knowledge in this field and to translate these information into clinical practice.

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