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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 18 (2004), Issue 8, Pages 521-524
Original Article

Active Peptic Ulcer Disease in Patients with Hepatitis C Virus-Related Cirrhosis: The Role of Helicobacter pylori Infection and Portal Hypertensive Gastropathy

Maria Dore, Daniela Mura, Stefania Deledda, Emmanouil Maragkoudakis, Antonella Pironti, and Giuseppe Realdi

Istituto di Clinica Medica, Università degli Studi di Sassari, Italy

Received 24 November 2003; Accepted 18 June 2004

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND & AIM: The relationship between Helicobacter pylori infection and peptic ulcer disease in cirrhosis remains controversial. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the role of H pylori infection and portal hypertension gastropathy in the prevalence of active peptic ulcer among dyspeptic patients with compensated hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related cirrhosis.

METHODS: Patients undergoing upper endoscopy with compensated HCV-related cirrhosis were enrolled. Child-Pugh's score was determined at the entry. Variceal size was measured endoscopically and the severity of portal hypertensive gastropathy was graded. H pylori infection status was determined by urea breath testing and/or histology.

RESULTS: A total of 178 patients positive for HCV (A and B Child-Pugh's score) were prospectively included. The prevalence of H pylori infection was 43%. An active peptic ulcer was found in 14 patients (8%) and was significantly more common among those with H pylori infection (16% versus 2% in H pylori uninfected patients, odds ratio: 8.0). No association was observed between H pylori infection and variceal size, or hypertensive gastropathy.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with compensated cirrhosis and H pylori infection showed higher risk of developing a peptic ulcer. Clinical relevance of this result would be that dyspeptic patients with HCV-related cirrhosis may benefit from preventive screening and eradication of H pylori, especially those with features of insufficient hemostasis.