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April 1991

Chronic Alcoholic GastritisRoles of Alcohol and Helicobacter pylori

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(4):760-764. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400040102023

We assessed the relative roles of alcohol and infection with Helicobacter pylori in the pathogenesis of chronic gastritis in alcoholic patients. Helicobacter pylori was found in 14 of 18 alcoholics with dyspepsia and was associated with chronic antral gastritis. Gastric biopsy specimens were normal in four H pylori—negative alcoholics. Studies were repeated 3 to 4 weeks after controlled abstinence. There was no change in histologic findings during this period, indicating that alcohol itself was not the major causative agent. We then eliminated H pylori in 10 subjects by giving triple therapy (bismuth subsalicylate, amoxicillin, and metronidazole). Treatment for H pylori was associated with almost complete normalization of histologic findings. Four control subjects who received antacids alone showed no improvement. Dyspeptic symptoms in H pylori—positive patients significantly improved after elimination of this organism, whereas there was no change with antacid treatment.

(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:760-764)