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Spontaneous disappearance of Helicobacter pylori antibodies in patients with advanced atrophic corpus gastritis

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Kokkola A, Kosunen TU, Puolakkainen P, Sipponen P, Härkönen M, Laxén F, Virtamo J, Haapiainen R, Rautelin H. Spontaneous disappearance of Helicobacter pylori antibodies in patients with advanced atrophic corpus gastritis. APMIS 2003;111:619–24.

Background. Only a few reported studies focus on the natural history and course of advanced and severe chronic atrophic gastritis. Methods. In this study we followed 47 men (mean age 62 years) with advanced (moderate or severe) Helicobacter pylori-positive atrophic corpus gastritis. Duration of endoscopic follow-up was 6 years and follow-up based on serum levels of pepsinogen I and antibodies to H. pylori covered a period of 10 years. None of the patients was treated for H. pylori infection prior to end of follow-up. Results. The median H. pylori antibody titre declined (IgG from 4000 to 1300; IgA from 200 to 50) in the study population, and 11 men (23%) converted to seronegative (p=0.0005, Fisher's exact test). There was a small but significant (p=0.0004, Page's test) declining trend in mean atrophy score of the corpus during follow-up (from 2.5 to 2.2). However, no significant changes were observed in grade of atrophy or intestinal metaplasia of the antral mucosa or in grade of intestinal metaplasia in the corpus. The mean SPGI level remained at the initial low level during the entire follow-up. Conclusions. H. pylori antibodies disappear spontaneously within 10 years in almost one fourth of patients with advanced atrophic corpus gastritis. The disappearance of H. pylori antibodies is accompanied by no or more than a mild improvement of the gastric mucosa.
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Keywords: Atrophic gastritis; Helicobacter pylori; intestinal metaplasia; time-course

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Surgery, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, 2: Department of Bacteriology and Immunology, Haartman Institute and HUCH-Laboratory Diagnostics, University of Helsinki, 3: Department of Pathology, Jorvi Hospital, Espoo, 4: Biohit Plc, Helsinki, 5: Department of Medicine, Turku University Central Hospital, Turku and

Publication date: 01 June 2003

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