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Br J Surg. 1995 Sep;82(9):1204-6.

Gastric juice epidermal growth factor concentration and Helicobacter pylori in patients with duodenal ulcer.

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Department of Surgery, University College London, UK.


The level of epidermal growth factor (EGF) was measured in the basal and maximally stimulated gastric juice of 20 control subjects and 20 patients each with duodenal ulcer and non-ulcer dyspepsia. Basal gastric juice was analysed for ammonia and urea concentrations, and the [ammonia]3/[urea] ratio was used to show Helicobacter pylori status, as was the [13C]urea breath test in nine controls. There was complete concordance in the nine controls between the two methods for determining H. pylori status. Twenty-five subjects were H. pylori positive (seven with duodenal ulcer, nine with non-ulcer dyspepsia, nine controls) and 35 H. pylori negative (13, 11 and 11 respectively). In H. pylori-positive subjects, the median EGF concentrations in the stimulated secretion of patients with duodenal ulcer and without (non-ulcer dyspepsia and controls combined) were 46.7 and 18.0 ng/ml (P < 0.001), and in H. pylori-negative subjects were 40.0 and 26.5 ng/ml respectively (P < 0.01). There was no difference in EGF concentration between controls and subjects with non-ulcer dyspepsia irrespective of H. pylori status. Lack of EGF is unlikely to be a cause of duodenal ulcer. The increased EGF concentration in patients with ulcer bore no relationship to the H. pylori status of the individual. If this bacterium causes duodenal ulcer, it is not via a reduction in EGF concentration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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