Helicobacter pylori Infection and Glaucoma

  • Dongmei Qian
Part of the Advances in Visual Science and Eye Diseases book series (AVSED, volume 3)


Helicobacter pylori (HP) is a microaerophilic gram-negative helicobacter that parasitizes between the surface of gastric mucosa and the mucus layer and contains several virulence factors. Glaucoma is a characteristic group of optic neuropathies with elevated intraocular pressure as the main risk factor. It is in essence the apoptosis of retinal ganglion cells. HP and glaucoma belong to two different systems. In the past, eye doctors regarded the gastrointestinal diseases, as far as they are concerned, as a stress reaction that only occurs during the period of rapid IOP elevation in glaucoma. And physicians usually regard the acute angle-closure glaucoma as a candidate condition for differential diagnosis for the symptom of internal medical acute pain. However, if we try to understand the two conditions from the perspective of holistic integrative medicine, we will find that HP is a microaerobe whose antigenicity and invasiveness will lead to complex pathological immune responses in multiple sites, while the apoptosis of retinal ganglion cells in glaucoma, on the other hand, requires the participation of autoimmune system. Taking into consideration also the latest research progress in subspecialties, we can find that there are similarities between the two seemingly unrelated diseases on different levels: (1) correlation between them in the pathogenesis on the molecular, cellular and biological level; (2) correlation between them in ecology on the level of epidemiology studies; (3) correlation between them in immunology in case–control trials; (4) correlation between eradication of HP and the glaucomatous damage to vision in clinical trials; and (5) they are both psychosomatic diseases. Though it is still unclear whether the correlation is concomitant or causal due to limited current understanding of them, their mysterious correlation is going to be revealed in the near future with the development and integration of various subspecialties.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. and People's Medical Publishing House, PR of China 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dongmei Qian
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GastroenterologyBeijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical UniversityBeijingChina

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