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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2001 Sep;13(9):1067-72.

Role of Helicobacter pylori infection and its eradication in patients with subclinical hepatic encephalopathy.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Alcala Medicine University, Ctra Colmenar K, 9100 Madrid, Spain.



Helicobacter pylori infection in cirrhotic patients has been associated with episodes of hepatic encephalopathy (HE), although conclusive data are still lacking. This prospective study has evaluated the prevalence of H. pylori infection in 37 patients with advanced cirrhosis of the liver and subclinical hepatic encephalopathy (SHE), diagnosed by changes in psychometric tests and/or electrophysiological tests, as well as the repercussion of H. pylori eradication on ammonaemia and the evolution of this disorder.


A positive result for H. pylori infection was obtained in 22/37 (59%) patients. Initial fasting blood levels of ammonia were high in both groups. Infected and non-infected patients showed similar levels (62.05 mmol/l v. 62.5 mmol/l), which were lowered by the standard diet, although statistical significance was only reached in the infected patient group (53.05 +/- 26 mmol/l; P < 0.05). Infection was eradicated in 19 patients, but no reduction of blood levels of ammonia was observed after H. pylori eradication among infected patients (52.37 +/- 29 mmol/l). No change has been found in either group after the administration of diet or antimicrobials with regard to psychometric and/or electrophysiological tests.


H. pylori infection does not contribute significantly to high blood levels of ammonia in patients with advanced cirrhosis and SHE. Likewise, H. pylori eradication does not induce any improvement in the psychometric and/or electrophysiological tests used to define SHE.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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