Elevated levels of anti-Helicobacter pylori antibodies in Henoch-Schönlein purpura

János Novák, Zoltánsz Szekanecz, Judit Sebesi, Alajos Takáts, Pál Demeter, László Bene, Sándor Sipka, Zoltán Csiki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Henoch-Schönlein purpura (HSP) is a systemic vasculitis characterized by IgA-containing deposits in the skin, joints, gastrointestinal mucosa and glomeruli. HSP is much rarer in adults than in children. Among a number of other pathogenic factors, Helicobacter pylori (Hp) has recently been implicated in the gastrointestinal and extra-gastrointestinal manifestations underlying HSP. We aimed at studying the occurrence of Hp infections in 11 adult HSP patients with appearance in our clinical practice in the last 5 years. Methods: Eleven adult HSP and 20 healthy adult patients were recruited for this study. Anti-Hp IgG and IgA antibodies were assessed in sera of HSP patients with active (n = 5) and remittent disease (n = 6) and healthy controls (n = 20) in the context of clinical symptoms, endoscopic evaluation, as well as routine and immunolaboratory observations. Concurrent Hp infection was confirmed by urease test and histology. Results: Anti-Hp antibodies were present in 10/11 of HSP patients, and 11/20 of healthy Controls. However, only 4/11 HSP patients had concurrent Hp infection as confirmed by urease test and/or histology. In the healthy controls the actual Hp infection was detectable in 9/20 cases. Patients in the acute phase had significantly higher levels of anti-Hp IgG compared to healthy controls (86.0 ± 32.0 versus 25.5 ± 28.5 U/ml, p < 0.05). In contrast, anti-Hp IgA/IgG ratios were significantly higher in the remitting phase compared to the control group (3.1 ± 1.8 versus 0.8 ± 0.5 ratio, p < 0.05). Among other immunolaboratory markers, serum CRP, circulating IgA and serum tumor necrosis factor-α levels were significantly increased in acute patients compared to healthy group results (45.3 ± 22.7 versus 4.8 ± 3.5 mg/l, p < 0,05); (58.9 ± 18.2 versus 25.2 ± 6.4 pg/ml, p < 0.05); (5.5 ± 1.1 versus 2.4 ± 1.2 g/l; respectively, p < 0.05). Conclusions: Hp infection may be associated with the development and progression of HSP. IgG antibodies to Hp may be present mostly in acute HSP, while IgA antibodies may be involved in sustaining gastrointestinal symptoms underlying the chronic phase of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-311
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2003


  • Anti-Helicobacter pylori antibodies
  • Chronic gastritis
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Henoch-Schönlein purpura

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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