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Serum pepsinogen I and IgG antibody to Campylobacter pylori in non-specific abdominal pain in childhood.
  1. G Oderda,
  2. D Vaira,
  3. J Holton,
  4. J F Dowsett,
  5. N Ansaldi
  1. Pediatric Gastroenterology Section, University of Torino, Italy.


    A consecutive series of 51 children (mean age 11 years) who presented with recurrent abdominal pain were investigated by upper gastrointestinal endoscopy including three antral biopsies for microscopy, culture and urease testing. Serum IgG, IgA, and IgM antibodies to Campylobacter pylori (C pylori) were measured by the ELISA technique. Serum pepsinogen I was also measured. Thirty two children showed histological evidence of gastritis. All had C pylori on microscopy and or culture. Nineteen children showed no histological gastritis nor evidence of C pylori on microscopy, culture and/or urease testing. The IgG and IgA antibody levels to C pylori were significantly higher in C pylori positive children than in the negative group (p less than 0.001). Serum pepsinogen I concentrations were also significantly higher in C pylori positive children than in negative (p less than 0.001). Measurement of IgG antibody levels, combined with serum pepsinogen I estimation, predict the presence of C pylori associated gastritis in children with a sensitivity and specificity of up to 95%. It may be used therefore to predict gastritis and even peptic ulceration in children presenting with non-specific upper abdominal pain.

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