To test the hypothesis that Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with a decreased intragastric acidity during omeprazole therapy, ambulatory 24 hour dual point gastric pH recordings were performed in 18 H pylori positive and 14 H pylori negative subjects. There was a four to six week washout period between the two pH recordings made in each subject after one week courses of placebo or omeprazole, 20 mg daily. During placebo, median 24 hour pH values were not different in the corpus (H pylori positive = 1.5, negative = 1.4; p = 0.9) or antrum (H pylori positive = 1.3, negative = 1.2; p = 0.1). However, during omeprazole treatment, median 24 hour pH values were higher in H pylori positive subjects, both in the corpus (H pylori positive = 5.5, negative = 4.0; p = 0.001) and antrum (H pylori positive = 5.5, negative = 3.5; p = 0.0004). During placebo treatment, the only difference between the two groups was a higher later nocturnal pH in the antrum in the H pylori positive group. During omeprazole treatment, gastric pH was higher both in the corpus and in the antrum in the H pylori positive group for all periods, except for mealtime in the corpus. These data indicate that omeprazole produces a greater decrease in gastric acidity in subjects with H pylori infection than in those who are H pylori negative. It is not, however, known whether there is a causal relationship between H pylori infection and increased omeprazole efficacy.
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