Objectives: We sought to evaluate the effect of Helicobacter pylori eradication in patients with fundic atrophic gastritis.
Methods: Acid secretion, gastric emptying, and histology were evaluated in 20 patients with fundic atrophic gastritis and H. pylori infection. After investigation, 10 patients (Group 1) received an eradicating treatment and 10 (Group 2) did not receive any treatment. One year later, the baseline investigations were repeated. Subsequently, patients in Group 2 received the same treatment given to patients in Group 1 and were reevaluated 12 months later. A further follow-up was performed in both groups 36 months after the treatment.
Results: At 1-yr follow-up, all the patients in Group 1 were H. pylori negative whereas all the patients in Group 2 were still infected. In Group 1, there was a significant improvement of both fundic atrophy and acid secretion, compared with baseline (p < 0.01). In Group 2, no substantial modification of either histological or functional parameters was observed at the first follow-up; conversely, a significant (p < 0.01) improvement of fundic atrophy and acid secretion was detected in these patients 12 months after eradication of the bacterium. Histological pattern remained unchanged at 36 months of follow-up in both groups. Gastric emptying remained, on the average, unaffected by the treatment; however, three patients with delayed gastric emptying at entry had normal gastric emptying after eradication of H. pylori.
Conclusions: Our data suggest that mucosal atrophy can be reduced or even reversed by the eradication of H. pylori, and this is associated with a recovery of gastric function.