Acid secretion in response to gastrin releasing peptide (GRP) is increased six-fold in Helicobacter pylori positive duodenal ulcer (DU) patients and threefold in H pylori positive healthy volunteers, and this fully resolves after eradication of the infection. This study was undertaken to determine whether a proportion of H pylori positive patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia (NUD) have an acid secretion disturbance similar to DU patients. Basal and GRP stimulated gastrin concentrations and acid output were examined in 25 H pylori positive NUD patients and the results compared with those of 25 H pylori positive healthy volunteers, 25 H pylori negative healthy volunteers, and 25 H pylori positive DU patients. Compared with the H pylori negative healthy volunteers, GRP stimulated gastrin was increased approximately three fold in each of the three infected groups. GRP stimulated acid secretion (median, range) was higher in the H pylori positive NUD patients (29.6 mmol/h (5.2-46.5)) (p < 0.005) than in the H pylori positive healthy volunteers (19.0 (1.0-38.3)) (p < 0.001) or H pylori negative healthy volunteers (6.3 (2.8-20.9)) (p < 0.0001). The H pylori positive NUD patients, however, had lower acid output than the DU patients (39.1 (17.9-64)) (p < 0.005). These findings are consistent with approximately 50% of the NUD patients having a similar disturbance of GRP stimulated acid secretion to DU patients.
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