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Comparison of clinical, serological and histological findings between non-ulcer dyspepsia patients with and without Helicobacter pylori infection


Correspondence: Dr P-I Hsu, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, 386, Ta-Chung 1st Road, Kaohsiung, Taiwan 813, Republic of China. Email:


Background and Aims: The role of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection in non-ulcer dyspepsia (NUD) remains controversial. This study investigates the clinical, serological and histological differences between patients with H. pylori-positive and -negative NUD.

Methods: One hundred and eighty consecutive patients with NUD were enrolled from January to December 1998. The severity of symptoms was evaluated by the Tucci's scoring system. The histological changes of gastric mucosa were assessed according to the Updated Sydney System, and a fasting blood sample was obtained to test the serum gastrin and pepsinogen I levels.

Results: The H. pylori-positive NUD patients were notably older than H. pylori-negative NUD patients (48.2 ± 15.9 vs 39.8 ± 15.7 years, P = 0.001). There were no differences in other clinical factors between the two NUD groups. The serum pepsinogen I levels were considerably higher in H. pylori-positive NUD patients than in H. pylori-negative NUD patients (78.9 ± 42.2 vs 61.5 ± 43.3 ng/mL, P < 0.01). However, no significant differences in serum gastrin levels were discovered between the two groups. The antrum histological scores for chronic inflammation, acute inflammation, gland atrophy and lymphoid follicles were higher in H. pylori-positive NUD patients than in H. pylori-negative NUD patients (2.09 vs 1.01, P < 0.001; 1.22 vs 0.36, P < 0.001; 0.76 vs 0.36, P < 0.01; 0.33 vs 0.13, P < 0.01, respectively).

Conclusions: The present study discovered marked differences in age, serum pepsinogen I levels, histological grades of acute inflammation, chronic inflammation, gland atrophy and lymphoid tissue formation between H. pylori-positive and H. pylori-negative NUD patients. Further investigation of the clinical prognosis of the two groups of patients is necessary.

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