Short-term recurrent abdominal pain related to Helicobacter pylori infection in children.J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Mar; 20(3):395-400.JG
BACKGROUND AND AIM
The causal relationship between Helicobacter pylori infection and recurrent abdominal pain in children is still under debate. This study assessed the relationship between H. pylori infection and recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) in preschool and school children.
A total of 1271 preschool and school children completed a questionnaire to define the RAP or short-term RAP (SRAP) with pain duration from 2 weeks to 3 months. The serum samples of 118 children with RAP, 60 with SRAP and 212 control children without abdominal pain were all tested for anti-H. pylori IgG. Children with abdominal pain and anti-H. pylori seropositivity were followed for 1 year to assess the relationship of H. pylori infection and recurrent abdominal pain.
The prevalence rates of RAP and SRAP in children were 9.8% (124/1271) and 5.5% (70/1271), respectively. Children with SRAP had a higher anti-H. pylori seropositive rate than those with RAP (25%vs 5%, P < 0.001) and control (25%vs 9%, P = 0.001). Among children with SRAP, the epigastric pain was related to H. pylori infection (P = 0.002). One year later, 71% (15/21) of the follow-up children (15 with SRAP, six with RAP) became symptom free regardless of the persistence of H. pylori.
H. pylori infection is more commonly found in children with short-term RAP, and presentation of epigastric pain in these cases can be considered as a warning alarm to screen for H. pylori infection.