Helicobacter pylori infection among patients with liver cirrhosis

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Abstract

Background and aim

Inflammatory changes in the stomach caused by Helicobacter pylori indirectly and directly affect liver function. Moreover, the bacteria may worsen the course of the liver cirrhosis. The study aimed at evaluating the incidence of H. pylori infection among patients with liver cirrhosis, depending on the etiology and injury stage, scored according to Child–Pugh classification. Stage of esophageal varices and endoscopic inflammatory lesions in the stomach were evaluated, depending on the presence of H. pylori infection.

Patients and methods

The study included 147 patients with liver cirrhosis: 42 were infected with hepatitis C virus, 31 were infected with hepatitis B virus, 56 had alcoholic liver cirrhosis, and 18 had primary biliary cirrhosis. Diagnosis of H. pylori infection was performed based on the presence of immunoglobulin G antibodies in serum.

Results

H. pylori infection was found in 46.9% of patients. The incidence of H. pylori infection among patients with postinflammatory liver cirrhosis was significantly higher (P=0.001), as compared with patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis. Ammonia concentration was significantly higher in patients infected with H. pylori, compared with noninfected individuals (129 vs. 112 μmol/l; P=0.002). Incidence of H. pylori infection in patients without esophageal varices was significantly lower compared with patients with esophageal varices (14 vs. 60%; P<0.001).

Conclusion

H. pylori infection is significantly more frequent among patients with postinflammatory liver cirrhosis (infected with hepatitis C virus or hepatitis B virus) than in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis or primary biliary cirrhosis. H. pylori infection correlates with elevated concentration of blood ammonia and the incidence of esophageal varices.

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