FRIDAY, Oct. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Inflammation and enlargement of adenoids in children does not appear to be caused by bacteria associated with stomach inflammation and ulcers, researchers report.

The condition, also known as adenoid hyperplasia, causes upper airway obstruction and is associated with thinking and behavioral problems in children. It's been suggested that adenoid hyperplasia may be caused by gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) -- a condition in which stomach contents back up into the esophagus -- or a similar condition called laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR).

In this study, Australian researchers investigated whether ulcer- and stomach-inflammation causing Helicobacter pylori bacteria and/or related bacteria were found in tissue samples from 78 hyperplastic and 15 normal adenoids from children aged 2 to 10.

No evidence of H. pylori was found in any adenoid tissue sample, which contained very few bacterial organisms overall.

The findings challenge other studies that claimed to find high levels of H. pylori in adenoid tissue, the researchers said.

"We believe that our findings show that adenoid tissue does not serve as a reservoir for species of the Helicobacteraceae family," wrote Damian J. Hussey and colleagues at Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University in Adelaide. "This suggests that colonization of the tissue by these bacteria is not a factor contributing to adenoid hyperplasia."

The study appears in the October issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about enlarged adenoids.