Helicobacter heilmannii infection: Clinical, endoscopic and histopathological features in Japanese patients

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Gastric biopsy materials of 4074 consecutive Japanese patients undergoing esophagogastroduodenoscopy were reviewed, along with those of 15 patients with Helicobacter heilmannii infection (11, chronic gastritis; four, mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma). In four patients with H. heilmannii infection, the materials were examined by transmission electronmicroscopy. Urea breath test (three patients) and antibody test (five patients) were performed in patients with H. heilmannii infection. In two patients with MALT lymphoma, H. heilmannii was eradicated. The prevalence of H. heilmannii was 0.1% in the consecutive series. In chronic gastritis, the gastric mucosa was endoscopically normal (13.3%), had erythema (33.3%), or had erosions (53.3%); histologically, it showed no epithelial change, mild mononuclear cell infiltration, and slight and focal neutrophil infiltration; Helicobacter heilmannii was positive with anti-H. pylori antibody, and was detected in the mucous gel layer and in foveolae. In MALT lymphoma, the gastric mucosa was coarsely granular with enlarged mucosal folds without ulcers (two cases), with small ulcers (one case), or with multiple erosions (one case). Urea breath test and antibody test were both negative. Eradication of H. heilmannii resulted in remission of MALT lymphoma. Helicobacter heilmannii infection is therefore uncommon in Japanese adults, but is associated with chronic gastritis and gastric MALT lymphoma.

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