BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Helicobacter pylori has strong urease activity. Ammonia produced by H pylori in the stomach can be a source of systemic ammonia in patients with hepatic dysfunction. The effect of the eradication of H pylori on hyperammonaemia was examined in patients with liver cirrhosis. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Ammonia concentrations in blood and gastric juice were analysed in 50 patients with liver cirrhosis and hyperammonaemia. All patients were first treated with a low protein diet, kanamycin, lactulose, and branched chain enriched amino acid solution. Hyperammonaemia remained in 18 patients. These 18 patients were divided into three groups according to the status of H pylori infection; those with a diffuse distribution of H pylori in the stomach (group I), those with a regional distribution (group II), and those without H pylori (group III). These patients were given 30 mg iansoprazole, 1000 mg amoxicillin, and 400 mg clarithromycin or 500 mg metronidazole for two weeks to eradicate H pylori. RESULTS: In group I ammonia concentrations in blood and gastric juice were significantly reduced after H pylori eradication. The blood ammonia concentration at 12 weeks after the eradication was still significantly lower than that before eradication. In groups II and III the ammonia concentrations in blood and gastric juice were not significantly reduced after eradication therapy. CONCLUSIONS: The diffuse distribution of H-pylori in the stomach contributes partly to hyperammonaemia in patients with liver cirrhosis, and the eradication of H pylori is effective in patients with hyperammonaemia with diffuse H pylori infection in the stomach.
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