Patients with chronic dyspepsia were categorised by macroscopic appearance at oesophagogastroduodenoscopy as having duodenal ulceration (DU), other diagnosed lesions such as reflux oesophagitis, carcinoma of stomach, etc, or no organic lesion (non-ulcer dyspepsia, NUD). Material was collected to identify gastric infection with Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) by CP urease test, culture, and histological examination and to make the microscopic diagnosis of active chronic gastritis. Each patient in the DU and NUD categories was then invited to volunteer for a gastric secretion study in which maximal gastric secretion in response to histamine was measured. Sixty two gastric secretion tests were performed (31 DU, 31 NUD). The presence of H pylori was associated with active chronic gastritis (100%). DU patients secreted more acid than the NUD patients. H pylori positivity was associated with decreased maximal gastric secretion in both groups. There was a positive correlation between smoking and maximal acid output shown only in H pylori negative but not in H pylori positive patients. These findings were clear cut when all corrections of maximal gastric secretion were made for pyloric loss, duodenogastric reflux, and stature. This study failed to show any aetiological link between H pylori and DU by increased maximal gastric secretion.
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