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Gastric histology, serological markers and age as predictors of gastric acid secretion in patients infected with Helicobacter pylori


Background: Acid secretion is intimately associated with most upper gastrointestinal diseases. Helicobacter pylori infection is a major environmental factor modifying acid secretion.

Aim: To study the association between the pattern of H pylori gastritis and gastric secretory function in a large number of subjects without specific upper gastrointestinal disease.

Methods and materials: Maximal acid output (MAO) was measured in 255 patients with dyspepsia showing normal endoscopy. Activity and severity of gastritis, atrophy and H pylori infection were assessed in body and antral biopsies. The correlations of histological parameters as well as age, sex, height, weight, smoking, serum gastrin, pepsinogen I and II, and their ratio with MAO were determined. Multiple linear regression was used to show the best possible predictors of MAO.

Results: Negative relationships: Body atrophy and body-combined (active and chronic) inflammatory scores showed a potent inverse correlation with MAO (correlation coefficients (CC) 0.59 and 0.50, respectively). Body:antral chronic gastritis ratio and body:antral combined inflammation ratio (both with CC = 0.49) and age (CC = 0.44) were also inversely correlated with MAO. Intestinal metaplasia at both antral and body sites had negative relationships with acid output with CC = 0.23 and 0.20, respectively. Positive relationships: Serum pepsinogen I, body H pylori density:combined inflammation ratio and pepsinogen I:II ratio with CC of 0.38, 0.38 and 0.30, respectively, correlated with MAO. The H pylori density: combined inflammation of both antrum and body positively correlated with MAO (CC = 0.29 and 0.38, respectively). Male sex and patient height also positively correlated with acid output. Modelling showed that body combined inflammatory score, body atrophy, age and serum pepsinogen I are independent predictors of acid output (R2 = 0.62).

Conclusion: Combination of body gastritis, body atrophy, age and serum pepsinogen I can be used as predictors of acid-secretory state in populations infected with H pylori.

  • ANOVA, analysis of variance
  • BMI, body mass index
  • CagA, cytotoxin-associated gene A
  • CIS, combined inflammatory score
  • ECL, enterochromaffin-like
  • IQR, interquartile range
  • MAO, maximal acid output

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