Recent studies have suggested an association of Helicobacter pylori and iron-deficiency anemia (IDA). This is a report of six cases of IDA associated with H. pylori gastritis.Methods:
Six patients with IDA were studied (5 boys and 1 girl; mean age 13.6 years; range 13–15 years). Five had a medical history of long-standing IDA and of oral iron supplementation at outpatient clinics. The anemia recurred after the iron therapy had been discontinued. The sixth patient was admitted to the hospital with severe IDA. An extensive work-up was ordered that included technetium-99m (99mTc) scans for Meckel's diverticulum, total colonoscopy, and gastrointestinal endoscopy. After biopsy-based H. pylori test results were confirmed to be positive, anti-H. pylori therapy consisting of lansoprazole, clarithromycin, and metronidazole was administered for 2 weeks with no iron supplementation. The hematologic profile and iron status were assessed periodically after the end of the eradication regimen.Results:
Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy revealed a marked antral nodularity but no evidence of bleeding lesions in all the patients. Given the histology and the fact that rapid urease test results were positive, chronic active gastritis with H. pylori was diagnosed in all these cases. H. pylori was successfully eradicated in all the patients. There was no evidence of IDA in any of the follow-up examinations between 27 and 50 months after anti-H. pylori therapy.Conclusions:
H. pylori infection may be involved in cases of IDA of unknown origin, and the eradication of H. pylori can be associated with the resolution of anemia.