Helicobacter-associated duodenitis and gastric metaplasia in duodenal ulcer patients

APMIS. 1991 Nov;99(11):997-1000. doi: 10.1111/j.1699-0463.1991.tb01291.x.


Biopsy specimens were taken from the duodenal bulb and the distal duodenum in 45 duodenal ulcer patients before and after treatment with histamine-2 antagonists, prostaglandin analogues or antacids. After four weeks of treatment, the ulcer had healed in 31 patients. The treatment did not lead to a reduced frequency of helicobacter-associated duodenitis or gastric metaplasia of the duodenal epithelium. We found gastric metaplasia in 52.3% of all biopsy specimens from the duodenal bulb, chronic active duodenitis in 71.9% and helicobacter-like structures in 15.9%. The helicobacter organisms were found only in areas of gastric metaplasia, and an accompanying chronic active duodenitis was found in 94.1%. In the distal duodenum, we observed chronic active duodenitis in 15.0% of the specimens. Here the inflammation was not associated with gastric metaplasia or helicobacter-like structures. These observations support the hypothesis that Helicobacter pylori colonizes the duodenal mucosa only in areas of gastric metaplasia, and that such colonization may lead to an active duodenitis.

MeSH terms

  • Antacids / therapeutic use
  • Biopsy
  • Duodenal Ulcer / complications
  • Duodenal Ulcer / drug therapy
  • Duodenal Ulcer / pathology*
  • Duodenitis / complications
  • Duodenitis / microbiology*
  • Duodenitis / pathology
  • Duodenum / pathology
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology*
  • Helicobacter Infections / complications
  • Helicobacter Infections / pathology*
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology*
  • Metaplasia
  • Prostaglandins / therapeutic use


  • Antacids
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists
  • Prostaglandins