What is the role of clinical history in the evaluation of Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection?

Updated: Jul 21, 2021
  • Author: Luigi Santacroce, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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In the authors' opinion, there are no significant differences in the presence and frequency of symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, pain, heartburn, or diarrhea, in patients who are infected with H pylori and those who are not. No definite evidence demonstrates a clear relationship between the symptoms of the H pylori -associated gastritis and abdominal pain or dyspeptic symptoms from other conditions, although H pylori gastritis is the cause of dyspepsia in a subset of patients (as when successful H pylori eradication results in sustained symptomatic remission) and is considered a distinct entity. [1, 13]  In infected patients, 30%-35% have no symptoms.

Adults and children differ in the immune response to H pylori infection. This is probably due to a physiologic lower density of neutrophils and T lymphocytes during childhood, especially in children younger than 8 years.

Although H pylori infection is not significantly related to recurrent abdominal pain, weekly pain is reported more often in children who are infected with H pylori compared with children who are not infected.

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