August 03, 2010

H. Pylori Infection Can Cause Urticaria and Angioedema!

Thanks to a recent blog post by medical blogger, Dr. Ves Dimov, I was made aware of how H. Pylori (Helicobacter pylori) infection of the stomach can cause chronic (idiopathic) urticaria as well as angioedema and that eradication of H. Pylori thru antibiotics and acid suppression can significantly improve the problem!

For those who do not know what H. pylori is... It is a germ that is the most important cause of gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. It can be diagnosed by measurement of H. pylori-specific (IgA and IgG) antibodies, urea breath test, or upper endoscopy. And... this germ is now becoming implicated in causing problems beyond the digestive system like angioedema and urticaria.

In one study, 88% of infected patients in whom the bacterium was eradicated after therapy showed a total or partial remission of urticaria symptoms. Symptoms remained unchanged in all uninfected patients.

Another study documented the disappearance (67%) or improvement of urticaria (24%) in most antimicrobially treated patients after 3-12 weeks.

Triple therapy is considered to be the standard treatment for children and adults. A proton pump inhibitor combined with two antibiotics has been shown to be very effective in clearing H pylori from the stomach. The current recommendation is treatment with amoxicillin, clarithromycin, and a proton pump inhibitor (Prevpac) for 2 weeks. Triple therapy regimens that are effective in children include a proton pump inhibitor combined with clarithromycin and metronidazole or amoxicillin and metronidazole.

Beneficial effects of Helicobacter pylori eradication on idiopathic chronic urticaria. Dig Dis Sci 1998 Jun;43(6):1226-9.
Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori-associated gastritis in chronic urticaria. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 1998 Aug;116(4):288-94.
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Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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