To review some aspects of the etiopathogenesis of peptic ulcerous disease especially on the basis of studies on its correlation withHelicobacter pylori (H. pylori).
A search was made in the data bases MEDLINE, LILACS and PubMed, and in Brazilian and foreign books, referring to the incidence and prevalence of infection by H. pylori and of peptic ulcerous disease in various populations of different countries.
It was observed that the prevalence of H. pyloriinfection is similar in individuals with peptic ulcerous disease and the general population. There are differences between countries with respect to the prevalence of infection and of gastric or duodenal peptic ulcers. In many countries the prevalence of infection by H. pylorishows stability while the prevalence of peptic ulcerous disease is declining. The prevalence of peptic ulcerous disease without H. pylori infection varies between 20% and 56% in occidental countries.
The observations might be suggestive of H. pyloribeing only one more factor to be summed together with other aggressive components in the genesis of peptic ulcerous disease. We would therewith be returning to the classic concept that peptic gastric and duodenal ulcers have multifactorial etiology and would result from imbalance between aggressive and defensive factors. The focus of studies should be enriched with the identification of the defensive factors and of other aggressive factors besides the well known H. pylori and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, since these two aggressors do not exhaust the full causal spectrum.
Peptic ulcer; Stomach Ulcer; Duodenal ulcer; Helicobacter infections