Background: Helicobacter pylori infection of the antral mucosa is responsible for an increase in basal and stimulated serum gastrin. In the present study we have investigated whether gastritis induced by H. pylori is responsible for abnormalities in the processing of gastrin in dyspeptic patients.
Methods: Basal serum gastrin was measured by radioimmunoassay before, 5 weeks, and 1 year after anti-H. pylori therapy in 73 H. pylori positive functional dyspeptic patients. Three region-specific antisera were used, specific for the biologically active carboxy-terminal part, the biologically inactive amino-terminal part of gastrin 1-17, and for the non-sulphated tyrosyl residue in gastrin 1-17.
Results: Basal serum gastrin levels were markedly (P < 0.01) decreased 5 weeks and 1 year after successful eradication of H. pylori (n = 39) but not in the patients in whom treatment failed (n = 34). A decline of gastrin was observed for each of the three radioimmunoassays.
Conclusion: The decrease of serum gastrin levels in all three radioimmunoassays after a successful eradication of H. pylori does not point to major changes in the processing of gastrin. These results suggest that G-cells in the antral mucosa are not functionally affected by the inflammation.