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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1998 Mar;10(3):251-4.

Gastric ulcers and Helicobacter heilmannii.

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Department of Medicine and Laboratory Medicine, Clinique St Pierre, Ottignies, Belgium.



To compare 14 patients with gastric ulcer and Helicobacter heilmannii with other patients with gastric ulcer: age and sex matched patients, patients colonized by Helicobacter pylori and patients on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).


The endoscopy unit of a university-affiliated hospital.


All patients underwent endoscopy with two antral biopsies and smears from biopsies (touch cytology) in addition to biopsies of ulcers. Most patients had fundic biopsies (n = 10), antral biopsies for culture (n = 7) and/or a urease test (n = 9). Serologic determination of antibodies against H. pylori was obtained in nine patients.


Patients with H. heilmannii diagnosed on smears from biopsies (touch cytology) had multiple and antral ulcers in 11 samples, and nodular or irregular lesions in five samples. No patient had a history of peptic ulcer disease. Biopsy revealed mild chronic gastritis in all patients, with features of reactive gastritis in nine. No patient had coexistent infection with H. pylori. Only two of ten patients with follow-up endoscopies had persistent H. heilmannii infection on smear or biopsy. No patient had symptomatic recurrence. Patients with H. pylori infection were older and often had recurrent ulceration. The majority of ulcers associated with NSAIDs occurred in elderly women.


Newly diagnosed gastric ulcers are associated with H. heilmannii infection. Healing is associated with the disappearance of H. heilmannii and the regression of reactive gastritis. Ulcers differ from those associated with H. pylori infection or with the use of NSAIDs, suggesting that H. heilmannii is a possible cause of gastric ulcers.

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