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Does Helicobacter pylori infection increase gastric sensitivity in functional dyspepsia?
  1. F Mearin,
  2. X de Ribot,
  3. A Balboa,
  4. A Salas,
  5. M J Varas,
  6. M Cucala,
  7. R Bartolomé,
  8. J R Armengol,
  9. J R Malagelada
  1. Digestive System Research Unit, Hospital General Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain.


    The role of Helicobacter pylori infection in the pathogenesis of functional dyspepsia is debated. It is known that a substantial fraction of dyspeptic patients manifest a low discomfort threshold to gastric distension. This study investigated the symptomatic pattern in 27 H pylori positive and 23 H pylori negative patients with chronic functional dyspepsia, and potential relations between infection and gastric hyperalgesia. Specific symptoms (pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating/fullness, early satiety) were scored from 0 to 3 for severity and frequency (global symptom scores: 0-15). The mechanical and perceptive responses to gastric accommodation were evaluated with an electronic barostat that produced graded isobaric distensions from 0 to 20 mm Hg in 2 mm Hg steps up to 600 ml. Gastric compliance (volume/pressure relation) and perception (rating scale: 0-10) were quantified. Standard gastrointestinal manometry and recorded phasic pressure activity at eight separate sites during fasting and postprandially were also assessed. H pylori positive and H pylori negative patients manifested similar severity and frequency of specific symptoms and global symptom scores (mean (SEM)) (severity: 9.5 (2.0) v 9.0 (2.1); frequency: 10.8 (2.0) v 9.7 (2.2)). No differences were seen either in gastric compliance (53 (4) ml/mm Hg v 43 (3) ml/mm Hg) or in gastric perception of distension (slope: 0.50 (0.05) v 0.53 (0.06)). Postprandial antral motility was significantly decreased in H pylori positive patients (two hours motility index: 10.4 (0.6) v 12.6 (0.5); p < 0.05). It is concluded that H pylori infected patients with functional dyspepsia present no distinctive symptoms by comparison with H pylori negative counterparts and H pylori infection is associated with diminished postprandial antral motility but it does not increase perception of gastric distension.

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