Background: Recent investigation of the etiology of Behçet's disease (BD) has focused on heat shock proteins (HSP) which belong to the HSP 60 family. Both the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori (HP) and BD may cause ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract and, HP expresses HSP 60.
Objective: Whether HP is linked to the pathogenesis of BD or not, and to investigate the influence of HP eradication on clinical parameters of BD.
Methods: Patients with BD were divided into two groups. Group I comprised 49 patients and was investigated for HP seroprevalence and compared with age- and sex-matched controls. Group II comprised 20 patients with BD and HP infection diagnosed by serological and endoscopic examinations as well as the rapid urease test (RUT). A 1-week eradication therapy was administered for HP infection. Patients were examined for the course of BD at monthly intervals. Two months after the eradication therapy, patients underwent an endoscopic examination and RUT for eradication control. Seven patients were excluded because of eradication failure. Thirteen patients were evaluated for the influence of HP eradication on clinical manifestations of BD. The number and size of oral and genital ulcers before the eradication and at the end of the follow-up period were compared statistically.
Results: HP seroprevalence between patients with BD and controls did not show significant difference. In 13 patients with BD, the number and size of oral and genital ulcers diminished significantly and various clinical manifestations regressed after the eradication of HP.
Conclusion: HP may be involved in the pathogenesis of BD.