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Abstract

Background:

Helicobacter bilis is considered to be a causative factor in the pathogenesis of biliary cancer. This study investigated the prevalence of H. bilis colonization of the biliary system of patients with pancreaticobiliary maljunction (PBM).

Methods:

Bile juice and biliary tissue samples were collected from 17 patients with PBM and 27 controls who had benign biliary disease without PBM. DNA extracted from each biliary sample was subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis for H. bilis and Helicobacter pylori.

Results:

PCR assays revealed that 12 of the 17 patients with PBM were positive for H. bilis DNA, compared with eight of 27 patients without PBM (P = 0·009). Among patients with PBM, H. bilis DNA was identified in six of eight children, including a 2-month-old infant, and in six of nine adults. The high prevalence of H. bilis DNA in the biliary system of patients with PBM was independent of age, sex, common bile duct dilatation, configuration of the pancreatic and bile ducts, and amylase activity in bile.

Conclusion:

H. bilis colonization of the biliary system is extremely common in patients with PBM. This may point to a role in the pathogenesis of biliary cancer. Copyright © 2010 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.