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Eradicating Helicobacter pylori reduces hypergastrinaemia during long term omeprazole treatment


Background—Both proton pump inhibitor drug treatment and Helicobacter pylori infection cause hypergastrinaemia in man.

Aims—To determine whether eradicating H pylori is a means of reducing hypergastrinaemia during subsequent proton pump inhibitor treatment.

Methods—Patients with H pylori were randomised to treatment with either anti-H pylori or symptomatic treatment. One month later, all received four weeks treatment with omeprazole 40 mg/day for one month followed by 20 mg/day for six months. Serum gastrin concentrations were measured before and following each treatment.

Results—In the patients randomised to anti-H pylori treatment, eradication of the infection lowered median fasting gastrin by 48% and meal stimulated gastrin by 46%. When gastrin concentrations one month following anti-H pylori/symptomatic treatment were used as baseline, omeprazole treatment produced a similar percentage increase in serum gastrin in the H pylori infected and H pylorieradicated patients. Consequently, in the patients in which H pylori was not eradicated, median fasting gastrin concentration was 38 ng/l (range 26–86) at initial presentation and increased to 64 ng/l (range 29–271) after seven months omeprazole, representing a median increase of 68% (p<0.005). In contrast, in the patients randomised to H pylori eradication, median fasting gastrin at initial presentation was 54 ng/l (range 17–226) and was unchanged after seven months omeprazole at 38 ng/l (range 17–95).

Conclusion—Eradicating H pylori is a means of reducing the rise in gastrin during subsequent long term omeprazole treatment. In view of the potential deleterious effects of hypergastrinaemia it may be appropriate to render patients H pylori negative prior to commencing long term proton pump inhibitor treatment.

  • hypergastrinaemia
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • omeprazole

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