Abstract: Goal: Iron may play a role in the pathogenesis of chronic hepatitis C. Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection was recently associated with iron-deficiency anemia. We examined the influence of Hp infection on hepatic iron accumulation in hepatitis C.
Methods: Ninety-five hepatitis C virus (HCV)-RNA-positive patients, including 60 chronic hepatitis, 17 cirrhosis and 18 hepatocellular carcinoma as well as 95 age- and sex-matched normal subjects without HCV infection as control, were studied. Liver biopsies were also obtained from 44 HCV-infected patients. Serum Hp antibodies were measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and clinical data, including iron parameters and histological findings, were compared between Hp-positive and -negative HCV-infected patients.
Results: The percentage of serum Hp antibodies was lower in HCV-infected patients than in controls (52/95 (54.7%) vs. 68/95 (71.6%); P<0.05). HCV-infected patients had higher serum ferritin levels than controls (120 [2.8–1700] vs. 58 [2.2–420] ng/ml; P<0.0001). In HCV-infected patients, the serum ferritin levels (medians and [ranges]) in Hp-positive patients were significantly lower than those of Hp-negative patients (99 [8.5–770] vs. 150 [2.8–1700] ng/ml; P<0.05). The grades of hepatic iron deposit in Hp-positive patients were significantly lower than those in Hp-negative patients (P<0.01).
Conclusions: Hp infection may at least partly affect hepatic iron accumulation in HCV-related liver diseases.