A team from Genoa, Italy, assessed the effect of Helicobacter pylori eradication in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis.
A total of 58 adult patients with established rheumatoid arthritis and dyspeptic symptoms were recruited to the study. Of these, 28 were H. pylori-positive and 30 were H. pylori-negative, on the basis of invasive tests.
All infected patients were successfully treated.
The disease activity was evaluated using clinical and laboratory parameters at the start of the study and every 4 months for 2 years.
The variations in the 2 subgroups were compared.
|Eradication improved following laboratory indices:|
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
| Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics |
H. pylori-eradicated rheumatoid arthritis patients showed progressive improvement over time of all clinical indices, compared with the start of the trial.
On the other hand, H. pylori-negative rheumatoid arthritis patients remained substantially unchanged.
After 2 years, H/ pylori-eradicated rheumatoid arthritis patients differed significantly from patients without H. pylori infection, in terms of improvement of all clinical parameters.
At the same time point, several laboratory indices (erythrocyte sedimentation rate, fibrinogen, alpha2-globulins, and antinuclear antibody) showed significantly lower values in the H. pylori-eradicated subgroup compared to the H. pylori-negative subgroup.
Author P. Zentilin, of the University of Genoa, said on behalf of fellow colleagues, "Our data suggests that H. pylori infection is implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis, in that its eradication may induce a significant improvement of disease activity over 24 months."
"H. pylori eradication seems to be advantageous in infected rheumatoid arthritis patients, but controlled studies are needed," it was concluded.