Helicobacter pylori Infection in Sickle Cell Disease

Kristy F. Woods, Agwu Onuoha, Robert R. Schade, Abdullah Kutlar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Abdominal pain is a common presenting symptom in adults with sickle cell disease (SCD). One case of Helicobacter pylori gastritis has been reported in a child with sickle cell anemia. H. pylori-induced peptic ulcer disease (PUD) has not previously been reported in adults with SCD. We report eight cases of H. pylori infection in adult sickle cell patients presenting with acute or recurrent abdominal pain and/or gastrointestinal bleeding. In all cases, H. pylori serology (IgG) was positive, and three patients had gastric or duodenal ulcer by endoscopic examination. All patients responded to H. pylori treatment with complete resolution of symptoms by 4 weeks. The prevalence of H. pylori infection in SCD is unknown, but patients may be at increased risk for H. pylori-induced PUD and complications due to pre-existing anemia, increased nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use, and alloimmunization which may delay necessary transfusion. It is important that the differential diagnosis of abdominal pain in adults with SCD include nonsickle cell-related disorders such as PUD. When confirmed, a definitive etiology of PUD must be determined so that appropriate treatment strategies can be initiated promptly and excess morbidity avoided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-365
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2000


  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Sickle cell disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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