BACKGROUND: Patients with duodenal ulcer (DU) have an increased parietal cell mass and sensitivity to secretagogues, with increased acid output.
AIM: To determine the effect of
Helicobacter pylorieradication on parietal cell sensitivity and gastric acid secretion.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Twenty-five
H pylori-positive DU patients and 18 H pylori-negative healthy volunteers were studied. Serum H pyloriimmunoglobulin G, basal acid output and acid secretory response to graded doses of pentagastrin were determined before and after treatment, at six months and at one year. Subjects were randomly assigned to ranitidine or sucralfate treatment for six weeks, and all DU patients received bismuth subsalicylate, metronidazole and tetracycline for the first two weeks.
H pyloriwas eradicated in 66% of patients receiving sucralfate and 92% receiving ranitidine. Compared with healthy volunteers, DU patients demonstrated a 2.7-fold greater basal acid output, a 1.3-fold greater peak acid output, significantly higher acid output for each dose of pentagastrin and a 1.38-fold increase in the area under the pentagastrin dose acid response curve. Cure of H pylori, irrespective of ulcer healing regimen, resulted in a gradual decrease in acid secretory capacity with basal acid output, peak acid output and area under the pentagastrin dose acid response curve returning to healthy volunteer levels by one year. No demonstrable differences were observed in parietal cell sensitivity in all subjects before or after treatment. These data suggest that disturbances in acid secretion in H pylori-positive DU patients are not due to an increased parietal cell sensitivity to pentagastrin but rather due to an increased parietal cell mass with increased capacity to secrete acid, which gradually resolves following cure.