Objectives/hypothesis: To determine if there is a relationship between Helicobacter pylori colonization in the pharynx mucous membrane and chronic nonspecific pharyngitis.
Study design: A prospective clinical study.
Methods: Seventy patients with chronic pharyngitis and 20 healthy control subjects were examined with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and culture for H. pylori colonization in the pharynx mucous membrane between March 2008 and October 2008. Patients with pharyngitis were seperated into two groups (35 patients in each) by using C-14 urea breath test, according to the presence of gastric H. pylori infection.
Results: In the control group, none of the patients had H. pylori in the pharynx. In the chronic pharyngitis group, in 12 patients (34.3%) with gastric H. pylori infection and in seven patients (20%) without gastric infection, H. pylori colonization in pharynx mucosa was determined with the PCR method. In only two of chronic pharyngitis patients (5.8%), H. pylori infection was detected with culture. In the pharynx mucosa, the H. pylori infection rate was significantly higher in the chronic pharyngitis groups than in the control group (P = .002 between C-14 positive and control groups, P = .040 between C-14 negative and control groups). There was not a significant difference in H. pylori colonization in the pharynx of patients who had chronic pharyngitis with or without gastric ailments and H. pylori infection (P = .179).
Conclusions: Chronic nonspecific pharyngitis without gastric H. pylori infection is significantly related to H. pylori colonization in the pharynx, and gastric involvement increases the rate of this spread. The gold standart for detection of H. pylori infection is the PCR method.