Effects of Helicobacter pylori Eradication on the Platelet Count in Hepatitis C Virus-Infected Patients

Tomoyuki Takashima, Hirayuki Enomoto, Yoshinori Iwata, Hiroki Nishikawa, Kazunori Yoh, Kunihiro Hasegawa, Chikage Nakano, Yukihisa Yuri, Noriko Ishii, Yuho Miyamoto, Ryo Takata, Takashi Nishimura, Akio Ishii, Yoshiyuki Sakai, Nobuhiro Aizawa, Naoto Ikeda, Hiroko Iijima, Shuhei Nishiguchi

Abstract


Background: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is associated with a low platelet count in patients with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). While eradication of H. pylori is an established therapy for increasing the platelet count in ITP patients, it is unclear whether or not eradication will similarly affect the platelet counts in patients with chronic liver diseases (CLDs). We herein examined the effect of H. pylori eradication on the platelet counts in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related CLD patients.

Methods: A total of 65 patients were enrolled, and the H. pylori-positive patients were treated to eradicate H. pylori. The eradication of H. pylori was assessed using a 13C-urea breath test 4 weeks after the completion of the therapy. In addition to the general laboratory variables of HCV-infected patients, including platelet counts, the prothrombin time (PT), and liver function markers (AST, ALT, total bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, and albumin), we also investigated the presence of splenomegaly via ultrasonography. The platelet counts were measured at 1, 3, and 6 months after the final eradication therapy in order to assess the success of H. pylori eradication.

Results: Of the 65 patients with HCV-related CLD, 30 were found to be H. pylori-positive. The oral treatment regimen succeeded in eliminating H. pylori in 19 patients. These H. pylori-eradicated patients included eight males and 11 females, and 15 (78.9%) had liver cirrhosis. Regarding the patients who failed to achieve H. pylori eradication, their platelet counts did not markedly differ between pre- and post-treatment. Regarding the patients with H. pylori eradication, the platelet counts tended to increase 6 months after the treatment (9.2 ± 2.9 × 103/μL vs. 10.1 ± 3.7 × 103/μL, P = 0.085). We also found that the platelet count was significantly increased after the eradication in patients without splenomegaly (9.8 ± 2.8 ×103/μL vs. 11.0 ± 3.7 ×103/μL, P = 0.040). Regarding the seven patients whose platelet count increased by more than 20 × 103/μL after anti-H. pylori treatment, most (6/7, 85.7%) did not have splenomegaly.

Conclusion: H. pylori eradication may increase the platelet count in HCV-positive patients, particularly those without splenomegaly.




J Clin Med Res. 2016;8(12):854-858
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/jocmr2725w


Keywords


Hepatitis C virus; Chronic liver disease; Thrombocytopenia; Helicobacter pylori; Splenomegaly

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