We conducted a prospective study to investigate the possibility of Helicobacter pylori colonization on tonsillar and adenoid tissues. Our study group was made up of 84 consecutively presenting children aged 4 to 12 years who had undergone adenotonsillectomy or adenoidectomy with or without ventilation tube insertion. The excised specimens were analyzed by rapid urease testing and histopathologic examination to detect H pylori. Histologic sections were subjected to hematoxylin and eosin staining and Giemsa staining as performed in routine gastric biopsies. We found no H pylori colonization in any specimen. Therefore, we consider the possibility of H pylori colonization of adenotonsillar tissue unlikely, even though the authors of some recent studies have reported such a finding. Other means of detecting possible H pylori colonization in the upper aerodigestive tract rely on invasive biopsy procedures, which are difficult to use in clinical practice. Therefore, on the basis of our findings and our review of the literature, we conclude that looking for H pylori in the upper aerodigestive tract is not only clinically useless, but damaging, as well.
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