Background: Recent studies have shown that the eradication of Helicobacter pylori results in a gastric acid secretion which decreases to normal levels in patients with duodenal ulcer disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of eradication of H. pylori in a 24-h study of gastric acidity in patients with atrophic gastritis of the corpus.
Methods: Intragastric acidity was measured by continuous 24-h pH monitoring, and the histology of the gastric antrum and corpus were evaluated in 14 H. pylori-positive patients with histologically proven atrophic gastritis of the corpus (10 men, 4 women; mean age, 57 years) before and 1 year after anti-H. pylori therapy.
Results: H. pylori was absent in 13 of 14 patients 1 year after treatment. Both gastritis and atrophy scores were significantly lower after eradication therapy (P < 0.01). The 24-h median pH and the percentage of 24-h pH readings above 4.0 units were significantly decreased after eradication therapy (from 5.12 +/- 0.36 to 2.69 +/- 0.21, and from 65.5 +/- 6.6% to 28.2 +/- 6.1%, P < 0.01, respectively.)
Conclusion: Eradication of H. pylori increases 24-h gastric acidity in patients with atrophic gastritis of the corpus. Improvement of the histology of the gastric antrum and corpus may lead to the normalization of gastric acidity.