Objective: The causative relation between Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and atherosclerosis has been determined as seropositivity or determination of H. pylori from atherome plaques by molecular methods. The site of entrance and the reservoir of the bacteria in the body is still a subject of discussion. In this study Helicobacter pylori stool antigen (HpSA) which shows gastrointestinal system colonization and infection with high specificity and sensitivity was determined in atherosclerotic, ectatic and angiographically normal groups.
Methods and results: A total of 62 patients was categorized according to diagnostic coronary angiography as 12 had normal coronary arteries, eight had one, 18 had two, and 12 had three atherosclerotic coronary arteries. Twelve patients had ectatic vessels. There were 27 (44%) HpSA positive and 35 (56%) HpSA negative patients. There was a statistically significant relation between HpSA positivity and the degree of vessel involvement in coronary artery disease (CAD) patients, essentially between the group with three vessels (83%) obstructed and the normal group (25%). Ectatic vessel group had a higher incidence (50%) of HpSA positivity compared to the control group but not enough for statistical significance.
Conclusions: The results indicate that gastrointestinal system H. pylori colonization increases the risk of atherosclerosis. We may speculate that the reservoir and spread of H. pylori is via gastrointestinal tract. Studies may be performed to detect whether gastrointestinal tract H. pylori infection treatment will decrease the risk of coronary artery damage caused by H. pylori.