A team from the University of Modena, Italy, investigated the association between Helicobacter pylori infection and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).
The prevalence of H. pylori infection and the effect of its eradication were assessed in a series of 30 ITP patients.
H. pylori infection was found in 13 patients (43.3%) by 13C-urea breath test, and was confirmed by histologic examination.
|After eradication, complete and partial platelet response occurred in 33.3% and 16.7% of ITP patients, respectively.|
Bacterium eradication with antibiotics was obtained in 12 out of 13 infected patients (92.3%). This led to a complete platelet response in 4 (33.3%) and to a partial response (platelet count not higher than 120 × 109/L) in 2 (16.7%). The remaining patients did not respond.
The response was maintained for a median of 8.3 months, but 1 patient relapsed 7 months after eradication.
From the group's research, Dr Giovanni Emilia concluded that: "A search for H. pylori infection seems appropriate in ITP patients at diagnosis. Bacterium eradication provides a good new option for a non-immunosuppressive treatment in some of these patients."