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Helicobacter pylori infection and light chain gammopathy.

OBJECTIVE: Helicobacter pylori provokes a host of immune alterations upon colonizing the gastric mucosa.

DESIGN: We report 22 individuals with confirmed Helicobacter pylori infection who were also managed for the concurrent elevation of immunoglobulin free light chain (kappa and lambda) levels.

RESULT: Of the 22 patients, 15 patients (68.2%) had elevated free light chain levels: 6 patients (40%) had only kappa chain elevation, 2 patients (13.3%) had only lambda chain elevation, and 7 patients (46.7%) had both kappa and lambda chain elevation. Twenty out of the 22 patients (90.9%) were microbiologically confirmed cured with 3 patients being lost to follow-up for repeat levels. Of the 3 patients who were lost to follow-up, 1 patient had only kappa chain elevation, 1 patient had only lambda chain elevation, and 1 patient had both kappa and lambda chain elevation. For those who were cured (19 patients), 5 patients with kappa elevation had normalized values, 4 patients with lambda elevation had normalized values, and 2 patients with combined kappa and lambda elevation had normalized values. For 6 out of the 19 patients, the light chain levels remained elevated.

CONCLUSION: We speculate that the Helicobacter pylori infection disrupts the immunoglobulin system with potential implications being discussed below.

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