Detection of Helicobacter pylori DNA in aortic and left internal mammary artery biopsies

Tex Heart Inst J. 2008;35(2):130-5.


We investigated the relationship between acute coronary ischemia and the presence of Helicobacter pylori DNA in aortic regions that were absent macroscopic atheromatous plaques. The study group (Group 1) consisted of 42 patients who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting. Biopsy samples were obtained from 2 different locations: from regions of the aorta that were free (macroscopically) of atheromatous plaque (Group 1A), and from the internal mammary artery (Group 1B). The control group (Group 2) of 10 patients who had no atherosclerotic vascular disease provided aortic tissue samples for comparison. The real-time polymerase chain reaction method was used to detect H. pylori DNA in all biopsy samples. Eleven of 42 aortic tissue samples (26%) in Group 1A were positive for H. pylori DNA. Neither biopsies from the left internal mammary arteries of those patients nor biopsies from the aortas of the control group (Group 2) were positive for H. pylori DNA. There was a statistically significant difference between 1A and 1B in terms of H. pylori positivity (P=0.001). In Group 1 as a whole, acute coronary ischemia was more prevalent in the H. pylori-positive patients than in the H. pylori-negative patients (P=0.001). To our knowledge, this is the 1st study to investigate the detection of H. pylori DNA in aortic biopsy samples that are macroscopically free of atheromatous plaque. Such detection in patients who have atherosclerotic coronary artery disease could be an important indication of the role of microorganisms in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.

Keywords: Aorta; Helicobacter infections/complications; Helicobacter pylori/pathogenicity; arteriosclerosis/etiology; mammary arteries; muscle, smooth, vascular; polymerase chain reaction; prospective studies; real-time PCR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aorta / microbiology*
  • Aorta / pathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coronary Artery Bypass
  • Coronary Artery Disease / microbiology*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / surgery
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Female
  • Helicobacter pylori / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mammary Arteries / microbiology*
  • Mammary Arteries / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / etiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology
  • Myocardial Infarction / surgery
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Risk Factors


  • DNA, Bacterial