Background and aims: It still remains controversial whether gastric mucosal atrophy and intestinal metaplasia are reversible after eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection. The aims of this study were to evaluate the histological changes in gastric mucosa after H. pylori eradication during long-term follow-up periods, and to verify the propriety of H. pylori eradication for the elderly population.
Methods: Two hundred and forty-one patients with H. pylori infection and 84 cases more than 60 years old were classified as the elderly group. The mean follow-up period was 101 months. A series of endoscopic examinations with five-point biopsies were performed before and every year after H. pylori eradication. We evaluated the histological grades according to the Updated Sydney System. Statistical analysis was performed using the Wilcoxon signed rank test and the Mann-Whitney U-test, and P < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.
Results: The atrophic grades improved only at the angle in the 5th year and at all points, except for the antrum, in the 10th year after H. pylori eradication. In the elderly group, the atrophic score improved in both the 5th and 10th year. However, improvement in the younger group was achieved only in the 10th year. The metaplastic score did not change in either the 5th or 10th year after H. pylori eradication in all patients.
Conclusion: Eradication of H. pylori infection improved gastric atrophy and prevented the progression of intestinal metaplasia in the elderly population during the long-term follow-up periods. H. pylori eradication for the elderly population is effective.