Background: The effect of Helicobacter pylori eradication on reflux oesophagitis is unclear.
Aim: To study the effect of H. pylori eradication on oesophageal acid exposure and disease severity in patients with reflux oesophagitis.
Methods: Patients with reflux oesophagitis and H. pylori infection were recruited for 24-h oesophageal pH-metry. They were then randomly assigned to receive either treatment for H. pylori eradication (1-week omeprazole-based triple therapy, followed by 7-week omeprazole) or omeprazole alone (8-week omeprazole). Uninfected patients were recruited as controls. Endoscopy, pH monitoring and symptom assessment were repeated at 26 weeks.
Results: Forty patients (25 H. pylori-positive and 15 uninfected) with erosive oesophagitis were studied. Fourteen were randomized to receive treatment for H. pylori eradication and 11 to receive omeprazole alone. There was no difference in the percentage of time the oesophageal pH < 4 before and 26 weeks after treatment among the three groups. However, the percentage of time the oesophageal pH < 2 (P=0.01) and pH < 3 (P=0.02) was significantly increased in patients receiving treatment for H. pylori eradication. Three (21%) patients in the group receiving treatment for H. pylori eradication had worsening of reflux oesophagitis.
Conclusions: H. pylori eradication increases oesophageal acid exposure and may adversely affect the clinical course of reflux disease in a subset of patients.