Eradication of gastric bacterial infection could alleviate hereditary oedematous disorder

November 15, 2001

N.B. Please note that if you are outside North America the embargo for Lancet Press material is 0001 hours UK time Friday 16th November 2001.

The eradication of the gastric bacterial infection Helicobacter pylori could play an important role in improving symptoms for people who have a genetic disorder known as hereditary angioneurotic oedema (HAO), conclude authors of a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection is thought to be a causal factor in various skin disorders. Henriette Farkas and colleagues from Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary, assessed the frequency of H pylori infection in 65 patients with HAO (non-itchy swellings caused by non-histamine like mediators; the disorder can be serious if swelling occurs in the face, throat, larynx or gastrointestinal lining).

The investigators identified 19 of 65 HAO patients with H pylori infection. The frequency of abdominal symptoms was substantially higher in the infected group. All patients with infection, and 11 of 46 without infection, had a history of recurrent episodes of acute abdominal pain (a common symptom of HAO). H pylori infection was successfully eradicated in 18 patients. In nine of 19 patients with dyspepsia, the frequency of episodes decreased from 100 over 10 months before H Pylori eradication to 19 during the 10-month follow-up period. The investigators conclude that screening for and eradication of H pylori infection seems to be justified in patients with HAO.

Contact: Dr Henriette Farkas, Semmelweis University, Kútvölgyi Clinical Centre, Allergology & Angioedema Outpatient Clinic, H-1125 Budapest, Kútvölgyi út 4, Hungary; T) +361 212 9351; F) +361 212 9351; E)


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