Helicobacter pylori Infection as a Triggering Factor of Attacks in Patients with Hereditary Angioedema

Authors


  • Performed within the framework of the PREHAEAT project (QLG1-CT-2002-01359) of the European Union.

Reprint request to: Henriette Farkas, MD, PhD, 3rd Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Semmelweis University, H-1125 Budapest, Kútvölgyi út 4, Hungary. Tel/Fax: (+36 1) 212 9351; E-mail: farkash@kut.sote.hu

Abstract

Background: Helicobacter pylori infection is considered among the causative factors of urticaria and angioedema. Having conducted a study on 65 patients, Hungarian authors reported in 2001 that successful eradication of H. pylori is followed by a significant reduction in the number of attacks in patients with hereditary angioedema (HAE). The present study aimed to reinvestigate the relationship between H. pylori infection and the attack rate in the framework of an international collaborative study.

Materials and methods:  Within the framework of the PREHAEAT project launched by the European Union, further 152 patients were studied in seven collaborating centers, and participants of the earlier study were followed up in order to detect any relationship between H. pylori infection and the occurrence of attacks in patients suffered from HAE.

Results:  The proportion of patients experiencing frequent (≥ 5 per year) abdominal attacks was higher (p = .002) among the H. pylori-infected participants of the international study who underwent eradication as compared to the rest of patients. Successful eradication of H. pylori significantly (p = .0006) reduced the number of attacks in these patients as well.

Nine subjects of the previous Hungarian study who underwent eradication therapy for dyspepsia were followed up for an additional 4 years. In these patients, attack frequency remained consistently low.

Conclusions:  As shown by experience from the Hungarian and the international trial, the number of frequent, edematous abdominal attacks may decrease substantially following the eradication of H. pylori from HAE patients infected with this pathogen. Therefore, screening of patients with HAE for H. pylori infection seems warranted. Eradication of H. pylori may lead to a marked reduction in disease severity.

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