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Gastrointest Endosc. 2001 Apr;53(4):438-42.

Is non-Helicobacter pylori, non-NSAID peptic ulcer a common cause of upper GI bleeding? A prospective study of 977 patients.

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Departments of Medicine and Therapeutics, Surgery, and Anatomical and Cellular Pathology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.



Non-Helicobacter pylori, non-NSAID ulcer is relatively common in Western countries. Whether it is a significant problem in the Orient is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of non-H pylori, non-NSAID ulcers presenting with GI bleeding.


A prospective study was done of 1675 consecutive patients presenting with upper GI bleeding over a period of 12 months. Upper endoscopy was performed with biopsy specimens taken from the antrum and body of the stomach for a biopsy urease test (BUT) and histology for detection of H pylori. Exposure to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) or aspirin within 4 weeks of hospitalization was carefully scrutinized. A 6-week course of treatment with an H2-receptor antagonist was prescribed for patients who did not use an NSAID and had a negative BUT result. Follow-up endoscopy was performed to confirm H pylori status with a BUT and histology. Positive histology at either initial or follow-up endoscopy was used as the standard for diagnosing H pylori infection.


Among 977 patients who were found to have ulcer bleeding, 434 (44%) had exposure to aspirin or an NSAID. Of the 543 non-NSAID users, 431 (79.4%) had a positive BUT and 112 (20.6%) were BUT negative on initial endoscopy. Eighty-nine of 112 patients who were NSAID negative, BUT negative returned for follow-up endoscopy. Forty-nine of 89 (55.1%) were found to have a positive BUT and positive histology at follow-up endoscopy. Only 40 of 977 (4.1%) patients admitted with ulcer bleeding were confirmed to have non-H pylori, non-NSAID ulcers.


Non-H pylori, non-NSAID bleeding ulcer is uncommon. A negative BUT is unreliable for exclusion of H pylori infection during the acute phase of ulcer bleeding.

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