Gastric outlet obstruction resulting from peptic ulcer disease requiring surgical intervention is infrequently associated with Helicobacter pylori infection

J B Gibson, S W Behrman, T C Fabian, L G Britt
Journal of the American College of Surgeons 2000, 191 (1): 32-7

BACKGROUND: Gastric outlet obstruction (GOO) secondary to peptic ulcer disease requiring therapeutic intervention remains a common problem. The incidence of Helicobacter pylori infection in this cohort has not been well defined. Pneumatic dilatation (PD) has been proposed as first-line therapy before surgical intervention. If H pylori infection in patients with GOO is infrequent, PD may not offer permanent control without the need for longterm antacid therapy.

STUDY DESIGN: The purpose of this study was to examine the incidence of H pylori infection and surgical outcomes in patients undergoing resection for GOO. The records of all patients having resection (vagotomy and antrectomy) for benign disease from 1993 to 1998 for GOO at the University of Tennessee affiliated hospitals were reviewed retrospectively. Smoking history, NSAID use, weight loss, previous ulcer treatment, previous treatment for H pylori, and previous attempts at PD were among the factors examined. H pylori infection was documented by Steiner stain from either preoperative biopsy or, in most patients, final surgical specimens. Surgical complications and patient satisfaction were ascertained from inpatient records, postoperative clinical notes, and, where possible, followup telephone surveys.

RESULTS: Twenty-four patients underwent surgical resection during the study period. There were 16 men and 8 women, with a mean age of 61 years (range 40 to 87 years). Weight loss was documented in 58% and averaged 27 lb. Five of 24 patients had previous attempts at PD, 3 of whom were H pylori negative. All five had further weight loss after these failed attempts. Of the 24 patients reviewed, only 8 (33%) were H pylori positive. There were no procedure-related deaths. Longterm clinical followup was possible in 16 of 24 patients, and all but one demonstrated dramatic clinical improvement by Visick score.

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude the following: 1) In this cohort, H pylori infection was present in a minority; 2) previous attempts at PD were unsuccessful, which may be related to the H pylori-negative status of the patients; 3) mortality related to the operation was zero; and 4) patient satisfaction was positive by the Visick scale. Patients with H pylori-negative GOO resulting from peptic ulcer disease should be strongly considered for an early, definitive, acid-reducing surgical procedure.

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