Objective: To investigate the difference in colonization by Helicobacter pylori between recurrent inflammatory and normal hyperplastic human palatine tonsil tissues.
Design: A retrospective review of a prospective data set.
Setting: Tertiary referral center.
Patients: Patients undergoing tonsillectomy for a variety of reasons had routine screening for H pylori. Medical records of all patients who underwent tonsillectomy were reviewed to identify (1) indications for surgery and (2) presence or absence of H pylori in the specimen. All medical records that had information on H pylori were included. Patients were divided into the following 2 groups: those having tonsillectomy for chronic recurrent tonsillitis and those having tonsillectomy for sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBDs) with no recent history of tonsillitis.
Results: There were 44 patients in the tonsillitis group (18 women and 26 men; mean age, 28.6 years) and 50 patients in the SRBD group (11 women and 39 men; mean age, 33.6 years). Of 94 patients the Pronto Dry test results were positive in 33 (35%) and negative in 61 (65%). The H pylori positive rates in the tonsillitis and SRBD groups were 48% (21 of 44) and 24% (12 of 50), respectively (P < .001).
Conclusions: Helicobacter pylori can colonize in human palatine tonsil tissues. A significantly higher positive H pylori rate was present in the tonsillitis group (48%) compared with the SRBD group (24%). Based on this finding, future studies should be performed to elucidate whether eradication therapy for H pylori is effective in decreasing recurrent inflammation of human palatine tonsils.