Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) the most common form of glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease, which is the third most common cause of blindness worldwide. It is estimated that 60 million people in the world are affected by this disease and 8.4 million are bilaterally blind. Among the various factors that have been implicated in the pathophysiology of this disease is infection with Helicobacter pylori
(HP), a Gram-negative bacterium that is commonly found in stomach and present in approximately one-half of the world’s population. Establishment of such a causal correlation will probably have important practical applications as the eradication of H. pylori
might lead to developments in the treatment of glaucoma.
Objectives: To investigate the association between Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma (POAG) and Helicobacter pylori infection and to observe fluctuations in intra ocular pressure after Helicobacter pylori infection eradication.
Design: Duration based, prospective observational study.
Participants: 50 patients with documented Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma (POAG) as case group and 50 non-glaucoma participants as control group.
Methods: Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy was performed to evaluate macroscopic abnormalities, and gastric mucosal biopsy specimens were obtained for the presence of H. pylori infection tested by Rapid Urease Test (RUT). All subjects underwent detailed ocular examinations including visual acuity, slit-lamp examination, fundoscopy, intra-ocular pressure recording, gonioscopy, GHT to assess visual fields and OCT of optic nerve head.
Results: In 90% of POAG patients of case group and in 68% of non-glaucoma participants of control group Helicobacter pylori infection was detected by RUT (P-Value=0.007).
Conclusion: H. pylori infection is more frequent in glaucoma patients. It may play a role as a secondary aggravating factor or even may be the primary cause. The establishment of such a causal relationship will probably have important practical applications as the eradication of H. pylori might lead to developments in the treatment of glaucoma.