Chronic urticaria and Helicobacter pylori

R Valsecchi, P Pigatto
Acta Dermato-venereologica 1998, 78 (6): 440-2
Chronic urticaria can result from multiple causes. A number of factors have been identified that can appear to be important in the pathogenesis of individual cases, including intolerance to food, drugs, some internal diseases and some infections. Recently a possible relationship between chronic urticaria and Helicobacter pylori has been suggested. One hundred and twenty-five patients were investigated for Helicobacter pylori infection by means of ELISA assay and 13C urea-breath tests. When the two tests were positive, gastric biopsy was performed after informed consent. Patients with Helicobacter pylori infection were randomly assigned to receive triple therapy for the eradication of bacterium for one week, or no treatment. As controls, 25 patients with chronic urticaria and with negative results on ELISA and urea-breath tests were treated with the same triple therapy course. Forty-six unrelated blood donors of both sexes were examined for the presence of anti-Helicobacter pylori antibodies in the normal population. Seventy-eight patients had circulating specific IgG antibodies against the bacterium and positive urea-breath tests. Among these patients, 31 received eradication therapy, 34 were enrolled in the control group, and 13 patients neglected the study. Three patients in the eradication therapy group showed complete remission of urticaria after 12 months of follow-up as compared with 1 patient in the control group. Twenty blood donors out of 46 were IgG anti-Helicobacter pylori positive. In conclusion, our data show that the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection is high in chronic urticaria patients, but eradication of the bacterium does not appear to influence the skin disorders nor the symptoms.

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