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Mod Pathol. 1999 May;12(5):534-8.

Helicobacter heilmannii gastritis: association with acid peptic diseases and comparison with Helicobacter pylori gastritis.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, and The Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


We analyzed 2 antral and 1 corpus full-thickness random endoscopic gastric mucosal samples obtained from 946 patients with duodenal ulcers (6077 biopsies) and from 281 patients with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-associated gastric ulcers (1794 biopsies). We stained tissue sections with hematoxylin and eosin and Warthin-Starry silver stain and immunostained them with polyclonal antibodies against Helicobacter pylori. Hematoxylin- and eosin-stained sections from 6 patients with Helicobacter heilmannii (18 biopsies) and 23 randomly selected patients with H. pylori (68 biopsies) were evaluated and semiquantitated for the presence of acute inflammation, chronic inflammation, glandular atrophy, intestinal metaplasia, H. pylori, H. heilmannii, lymphoid follicles, or vasodilatation. Additional specimens were obtained for H. pylori culture, a CLO test, and serologic examination. H. heilmannii was detected in 6 (0.49%) of 1227 patients (14 [0.18%] of 7871 biopsies). Of these, 4 (0.42%) of 946 were patients with duodenal ulcers (9 [0.15%] of 6077 biopsies), and 2 (0.71%) of 281 were patients with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-associated gastric ulcers (5 [0.28%] of 1794 biopsies). We found H. heilmannii with hematoxylin and eosin stain, Warthin-Starry stain, and immunoperoxidase stain for H. pylori. Culture for H. pylori was negative in the four patients with duodenal ulcers. The CLO and serologic tests were positive in three of five and five of five patients, respectively. Our results indicate that H. heilmannii, like H. pylori, is associated with peptic ulcer disease (both active and inactive gastritis) and that it preferentially colonizes the gastric antrum. The severity of the H. heilmannii-associated gastritis is less intense and lymphoid aggregates are less common than in H. pylori-associated gastritis. Morphologic detection seems to be the method of choice for detecting H. heilmanni. Immunoperoxidase stain specific for H. pylori also stains H. heilmannii, indicating cross-reacting antigenic epitopes between H. heilmannii and H. pylori.

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