Aim: To investigate the presence of lesions of the upper gastrointestinal tract of asymptomatic, healthy volunteers undergoing clinical pharmacology studies.
Material and methods: A series of 53 volunteers (45 male, 23 Helicobacter pylori negative and 30 Helicobacter pylori positive) underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Helicobacter pylori status was assessed using two methods (rapid urease test and histology) from antral and corpus biopsies.
Results: Peptic lesions were found in 24 (45%) subjects: erosive oesophagitis, gastric/duodenal ulcers and gastric/duodenal erosions were found in 23%, 9% and 36% of these volunteers, respectively. Helicobacter pylori-positive subjects had significantly (p<0.05) more gastroduodenal lesions than Helicobacter pylori negative individuals (12/30 vs 3/23). The presence of peptic ulcers and erosive oesophagitis was similar in Helicobacter pylori-positive and -negative individuals.
Conclusions: The possibility that peptic lesions might exist in otherwise asymptomatic, healthy individuals cannot be ruled out. Helicobacter py lori-positive individuals have a significantly higher incidence of gastric and duodenal lesions than Helicobacter pylori negative subjects.