Objective: We aimed to examine the relationship between Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and gastrointestinal symptoms, and the efficacy of eradication treatment.
Methods: A retrospective chart review was carried for children (5-18 years old) who underwent a 14C-urea breath test (14C-UBT) for H. pylori infection. Pre- and post-treatment 14C-UBT results, gastrointestinal symptoms, H. pylori eradication protocol and treatment consistency were noted.
Results: At presentation, out of 537 patients (65.2% girls), 43.9% had 14C-UBT positivitiy. The frequency of heartburn, acid regurgitation and halitosis (p = 0.001, p = 0.006, and p = 0.03 respectively) were significantly high in 14C-UBT (+) patients, frequency of epigastric pain (p < 0.0001) was significantly high in 14C-UBT (-) patients at presentation. 14C‑UBT (+) patients were treated with amoxicillin + lansoprazole + clarithromycin (66.1%) / metranidazole (33.9%). After eradication treatment control 14C-UBT were negative in 62.5% of patients treated with the metranidazole, compared with 47.4% of patients treated with the clarithromycin protocol (p = 0.03). After eradication treatment, frequency of gastrointestinal symptoms (except feeling of hunger) were significantly decreased regardless of treatment success (p < 0.0001). The frequency of total gastrointestinal symptoms (p < 0.0001), epigastric pain (p < 0.0001), epigastric burning (p = 0.003), heartburn (p = 0.002), acid regurgitation (p = 0.006), nausea (p = 0.001), halitosis (p = 0.02), early satiety (p = 0.02) were significantly reduced in patients with control 14C‑UBT (-).
Conclusion: H. pylori eradication, or the attempt to eliminate H. pylori, reduces gastrointestinal symptoms in H. pylori-infected children.
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