Tomasi, Paolo and Dore, Maria Pina and Fanciulli, Giuseppe and Sanciu, Franca and Realdi, Giuseppe and Delitala, Giuseppe (2005) Is there anything to the reported association between Helicobacter pylori infection and autoimmune thyroiditis? Digestive Diseases and Sciences, Vol. 50 (2), p. 385-388. eISSN 1573-2568. Article.
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Higher serological prevalence rates of Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection have been reported in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis (AT), and it has been suggested that monoclonal antibodies against Cag-A positive Hp strains can cross-react with follicular cells of the thyroid gland. We studied the prevalence of AT and thyroid functional status in patients who underwent gastroscopy for dyspeptic symptoms. Patients were tested for TSH, free thyroid hormones, and antithyroglobulin and antithyroperoxidase antibodies (ATPO). Hp positivity was determined using urea breath test (UBT). Serum samples from 302 patients (59.9% women) were evaluated. One hundred ninety-one subjects (63.2%) were Hp-negative, and 111 of 302 (36.8%) were Hp-positive. Forty-three of 191 Hp-negative patients (22.5%; 95% CI, 17.1–29.0%) had an increase of either antibody, compared to 30 of 111 (27.0%; 95% CI, 19.6–36.0%) Hp-positive patients (P = 0.40). Similar results were obtained using positivity for both antibodies (7.3 vs. 7.2%; P = 1) or for ATPO (18.8 vs. 21.6%; P = 0.54). The prevalences of hypothyroidism (4.7 vs. 5.5%) or hyperthyroidism (5.8 vs. 5.5%) were also similar (P = 0.95). Hormonal levels were not different in the two groups (P > 0.22 in all cases). The previously reported association between AT and Hp infection was not observed in our study. Infection by Hp does not appear to increase the risk of AT in individuals with dyspeptic symptoms, and screening for this condition in patients with a positive UBT is not indicated.
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