Helicobacter pylori could theoretically induce ocular adnexal lymphoma (OAL) via 2 mechanisms: the first is that of infection within the ocular adnexa and the second is that of infection within the gastric mucosa, leading to the malignant transformation of lymphocytes that migrate to the ocular adnexa, forming a primary “ectopic” cancer. This study investigated if an association exists between gastric H. pylori or ocular adnexal H. pylori and OAL.
Prospective case-control study including cases with OAL and controls with nonlymphomatous pathologies. Gastric H. pylori infection was assessed via serologic antibody testing. Ocular adnexal infection was assessed via polymerase chain reaction testing for H. pylori and Chlamydia psittaci within ocular adnexal samples.
Seventy-two patients were enrolled, of whom 18 had lymphoma and 54 nonlymphomatous pathologies. H. pylori antibodies were present in 5 cases (28%) and 18 controls (33%) (95% CI, 0.24%-2.50%, p = 0.78). All ocular adnexal specimens were negative for H. pylori and C. psittaci infection. The only relevant statistically significant difference between cases and controls was a history of gastric ulcer (95% CI, 1.23%-44.80%, p = 0.03).
In the study’s population, infection of gastric mucosa with H. pylori does not appear to influence the development of OAL. Also, H. pylori or C. psittaci infection within the ocular adnexa does not appear to influence the development of OAL. In the study’s practice, authors do not recommend antibiotic administration or routine gastroscopy for patients with OAL. The authors do recommend referral of OAL patients with gastric symptoms to a gastroenterologist.