Helicobacter pylori infection in the stomach has long been associated with chronic gastritis, duodenal and peptic ulceration and even gastric cancer. Whether laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) brings up these organisms and induces chronic tonsillitis is an interesting concept, which the authors have attempted to explore in this study. Tonsils were removed from two groups of patients, one with a history of chronic tonsillitis and the other with tonsillar hypertrophy causing obstructive symptoms and identification of Helicobacter pylori carried out in all of them by histochemical examination and rapid urease tests. There was a higher presence of Helicobacter pylori in the chronic tonsillitis group in both children and adults. There were also weak but positive relationships between tonsillar infection with H. pylori and commonly related signs of LPR, determined by videolaryngoscopy. Several studies have been quoted with results ranging from clear association of H. pylori infected tonsils and LPR to contradictory findings. Limitations of this study have been identified, namely not using the polymerase chain reaction for identifying H. pylori. It is also contemplated if tonsillectomy would improve gastric conditions. A thought which emerges is whether treating H. pylori infection would obviate the need for tonsillectomy, especially in adults with a high BMI and greater probability of LPR.

Helicobacter pylori in the tonsillar tissue: a possible association with chronic tonsillitis and laryngopharyngeal reflux.
Siupsinskiene N, Katutiene I, Jonikiene V, Janciauskas D,Vaitkus S.
Share This
Madhup K Chaurasia

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, UK.

View Full Profile