Introduction: It has been suggested that Helicobacter pylori eradication often increases platelet counts in patients with chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). In addition, H. pylori has been shown to induce platelet activation (CD62p or P-selectin expression) in previous studies. We assessed the response of platelet count and CD62p expression after eradication therapy in patients with ITP and H. pylori infection. Methods and Results: We prospectively studied 15 ITP patients diagnosed with H. pylori infection by serology and breath test. A follow-up breath test was used to document eradication. Two out of 15 patients showed improvement in platelet counts after 6 months, 1 of which may have had drug-induced thrombocytopenia. Overall, certain platelet response rate in our series was 6.7% (1/15). We found that platelet CD62p expression by flow cytometry was elevated in 10/15 (66.7%) H. pylori-infected patients, which is a statistically significant difference when compared with 3/33 (9.1%) control ITP patients seronegative for H. pylori (p = 0.002). In addition, eradication therapy decreased CD62p expression (p = 0.04). However, reduction in platelet activation was not associated with an increase in platelet counts (mean 72.4 × 109/l before and 68.7 after therapy; p = 0.4). Conclusion: In our series, platelet activation was common in ITP patients with H. pylori, and eradication therapy decreased platelet activation but seldom increased platelet counts. Increased platelet CD62p expression is a putative link between chronic infections and atherosclerosis, but further study is needed to clarify the implications of our observation.
- Helicobacter pylori
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
- Platelet activation
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