Helicobacter pylori is capable of altering the structure of the mucus gel adhering to the surface of the gastric antral wall. Thirty patients (22 men and 8 women) with endoscopic evidence of active duodenal ulcer and histologically confirmed H pylori antral gastritis participated in this prospective study. The study objective was to evaluate the effects of 6 weeks of treatment with colloidal bismuth subcitrate (two 120-mg tablets twice daily) on peptic secretion and the gastric mucosal barrier. Samples of gastric juice were collected during endoscopy to measure pepsin levels. Also during endoscopy, four biopsies were taken (two antral and two from the body/fundus) for histological examination, H pylori detection, and the quantification of pepsinogen group A (PGA), gastrin, and pepsin in the tissues. All of the above parameters were repeated with endoscopy after 6 weeks of treatment. Ulcer healing was obtained in 26 (87%) of 30 patients after treatment. H pylori infection was cleared in 15 (50%) patients. No significant changes were detected in concentrations of pepsin in the gastric juice or concentrations of PGA, gastrin, or pepsin in the tissues. Mucus depletion was visibly lower after treatment, suggesting that colloidal bismuth subcitrate may alter the bacterial microenvironment, regenerating the quantity of mucus. Â© 1995.
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