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1.  Low rate of recurrence of Helicobacter Pylori infection in spite of high clarithromycin resistance in Pakistan 
BMC Gastroenterology  2013;13:33.
Background
The aim was to investigate the reinfection rate of H. pylori during a follow-up period of 12 months in adults who had undergone eradication therapy.
Methods
One hundred-twenty patients; 116 with gastritis, 3 with duodenal ulcer and 1 gastric ulcer, were studied. Their mean age was 41 ± 13 years (range 18–77) and male: female ratio of 2:1. H. pylori were cultured and antibiotic sensitivity was determined by Epsilometer test (E-test) for clarithromycin (CLR) and amoxicillin (AMX). Primers of urease C gene of H. pylori and Sau-3 and Hha I restriction enzymes were used for polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (PCR-RFLP). 14C urea breath test (14C-UBT) was performed 4 weeks after the eradication therapy. The successfully treated patients were observed for 12 months with 14C-UBT to assess H. pylori status. If 14C-UBT was negative, it was repeated after every 12 weeks. If 14C-UBT was positive, endoscopy was repeated with biopsies.
Result
The eradication therapy was successful in 102(85%) patients. Out of forty-seven H. pylori isolates cultured, clarithromycin sensitivity was present in 30(64%) and amoxicillin in 45(98%), respectively. Follow-up 14C-urea breath tests of all 102 patients who eradicated H. pylori remained negative up to 9 months. However, in 6 patients, the 14C-UBT confirmed recurrence at 12 months. The recurrence rate was 6%.
Conclusion
A low rate of recurrence of H. pylori infection was found in patients with dyspeptic symptoms. H. pylori isolates demonstrated a high invitro clarithromycin resistance.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-13-33
PMCID: PMC3608237  PMID: 23433429
Helicobacter pylori; Clarithromycin resistance; Recurrence; Nonulcer dyspepsia
2.  The clinical, endoscopic and histological spectrum of the solitary rectal ulcer syndrome: a single-center experience of 116 cases 
BMC Gastroenterology  2012;12:72.
Background
Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome (SRUS) is an uncommon although benign defecation disorder. The aim of this study was to evaluate the variable endoscopic manifestations of SRUS and its association with other diseases.
Methods
All the patients diagnosed with SRUS histologically from January 1990 to February 2011 at The Aga Khan University, Karachi were included in the study. The medical records were reviewed retrospectively to evaluate the clinical spectrum of the patients along with the endoscopic and histological findings.
Results
A total of 116 patients were evaluated. The mean age was 37.4 ± 16.6 (range: 13–80) years, 61 (53%) of the patients were male. Bleeding per rectum was present in 82%, abdominal pain in 49%, constipation in 23% and diarrhea in 22%. Endoscopically, solitary and multiple lesions were present in 79 (68%) and 33 (28%) patients respectively; ulcerative lesions in 90 (78%), polypoidal in 29 (25%), erythematous patches in 3 (2.5%) and petechial spots in one patient. Associated underlying conditions were hemorrhoids in 7 (6%), hyperplastic polyps in 4 (3.5%), adenomatous polyps in 2(2%), history of ulcerative colitis in 3 (2.5%) while adenocarcinoma of colon was observed in two patients. One patient had previous surgery for colonic carcinoma.
Conclusion
SRUS may manifest on endoscopy as multiple ulcers, polypoidal growth and erythematous patches and has shown to share clinicopathological features with rectal prolapse, proctitis cystica profunda (PCP) and inflammatory cloacogenic polyp; therefore collectively grouped as mucosal prolapse syndrome. This may be associated with underlying conditions such as polyps, ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids and malignancy. High index of suspicion is required to diagnose potentially serious disease by repeated endoscopies with biopsies to look for potentially serious underlying conditions associated with SRUS.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-72
PMCID: PMC3444426  PMID: 22697798
3.  Extent of liver inflammation in predicting response to interferon α & Ribavirin in chronic hepatitis C patients: a cohort study 
BMC Gastroenterology  2012;12:71.
Background
Liver inflammation due to HCV infection leads to fibrosis, which is an independent predictor of treatment response to interferon therapy in Chronic Hepatitis C (CHC) patients. This relationship has not been studied for liver inflammation on pretreatment liver biopsy and End of Treatment Response (ETR). ALT is a less invasive test than liver biopsy for measuring liver inflammation. Aim of this study was to compare ETR to Interferon α (recombinant Interferon) & Ribavirin in CHC patients having higher and lower grades of liver inflammation and to determine the diagnostic accuracy of pretreatment ALT for grades of liver inflammation.
Methods
A retrospective cohort of 876 naïve CHC patients, who completed Interferon α & Ribavirin for 24 weeks, was studied for ETR. Pretreatment grade of inflammation on liver biopsy was taken as the exposure variable. It was classified as high if there was moderate or severe and low if there was minimal or mild. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was performed. Diagnostic accuracy of pretreatment ALT for liver inflammation grades was determined by computing Area Under the Receiver Operator Curve (AUROC).
Results
Of all patients, 672 having diagnostic liver biopsy and ETR available were analyzed. Among them, 103 had high and 569 had low grades of liver inflammation. Mean age was 36.9 (SD 9.1) years, with patients with high grades being older than those with low grades inflammation (p = 0.03). High grades of liver inflammation was associated with ETR (RR 1.17, 95% CI 1.12–1.18) adjusting for age, Total Leukocyte count (TLC) and pretreatment levels of ALT, irrespective of liver fibrosis. This relation remained significant for ‘bridging fibrosis and cirrhosis’ and not for ‘no’ or ‘portal fibrosis’. AUROC of pretreatment ALT for males and females was moderately accurate for severe inflammation compared to minimal inflammation and less accurate for high grades compared to low grades.
Conclusions
ETR in patients with higher grades of liver inflammation was 17% higher than those with lower grades irrespective of fibrosis and 9% higher for bridging fibrosis and cirrhosis. Pretreatment ALT was moderately accurate for severe inflammation only on liver biopsy in both males and females.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-71
PMCID: PMC3502580  PMID: 22697612
4.  Severity of acute hepatitis and its outcome in patients with dengue fever in a tertiary care hospital Karachi, Pakistan (South Asia) 
BMC Gastroenterology  2010;10:43.
Background
Liver injury due to dengue viral infection is not uncommon. Acute liver injury is a severe complicating factor in dengue, predisposing to life-threatening hemorrhage, Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) and encephalopathy. Therefore we sought to determine the frequency of hepatitis in dengue infection and to compare the outcome (length of stay, in hospital mortality, complications) between patients of Dengue who have mild/moderate (ALT 23-300 IU/L) v/s severe acute hepatitis (ALT > 300 IU/L).
Methods
A Cohort study of inpatients with dengue viral infection done at Aga Khan University Hospital Karachi. All patients (≥ 14 yrs age) admitted with diagnosis of Dengue Fever (DF), Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) or Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS) were included. Chi square test was used to compare categorical variables and fischer exact test where applicable. Survival analysis (Cox regression and log rank) for primary outcome was done. Student t test was used to compare continuous variables. A p value of less than or equal to 0.05 was taken as significant.
Results
Six hundred and ninety nine patients were enrolled, including 87% (605) patients with DF and 13% (94) patients with DHF or DSS. Liver functions tests showed median ALT of 88.50 IU/L; IQR 43.25-188 IU/L, median AST of 174 IU/L; IQR 87-371.5 IU/L and median T.Bil of 0.8 mg/dl; IQR 0.6-1.3 mg/dl. Seventy one percent (496) had mild to moderate hepatitis and 15% (103) had severe hepatitis. Mean length of stay (LOS) in patients with mild/moderate hepatitis was 3.63 days v.s 4.3 days in those with severe hepatitis (P value 0.002). Overall mortality was 33.3% (n = 6) in mild/moderate hepatitis vs 66.7% (n = 12) in severe hepatitis group (p value < 0.001). Cox regression analysis also showed significantly higher mortality in severe hepatitis group (H.R (4.91; 95% CI 1.74-13.87 and P value 0.003) and in DHF/DSS (5.43; CI 1.86-15.84 and P value 0.002). There was a significant difference for the complications like Bleeding (P value < 0.001), Acute Renal failure (ARF) (P value 0.002), Acalculus cholecystitis (P value 0.04) and encephalopathy (P value 0.02) in mild/moderate and Severe hepatitis groups respectively.
Conclusion
Severe hepatitis (SGPT>300IU) in Dengue is associated with prolonged LOS, mortality, bleeding and RF.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-10-43
PMCID: PMC2881113  PMID: 20459677
5.  Helicobacter pylori infection: approach of primary care physicians in a developing country 
BMC Gastroenterology  2009;9:23.
Background
The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge and practices of primary care physicians in diagnosis and management of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection in developing country.
Methods
This convenient sample based, cross sectional study was conducted in primary care physicians of Karachi, Pakistan from March 2008 to August 2008 through a pretested self-designed questionnaire, which contained 11 items pertaining to H. pylori route of transmission, diagnosis, indication for testing, treatment options, follow up and source of information.
Results
Out of 509 primary care physicians, 451 consented to participate with the response rate of 88.6%. Responses of 426 primary care physicians were analyzed after excluding 19 physicians. 78% of the physicians thought that contaminated water was the source of spread of infection, dyspepsia was the most frequent indication for investigating H. pylori infection (67% of the physicians), while 43% physicians were of the view that serology was the most appropriate test to diagnose active H. pylori infection. 77% of physicians thought that gastric ulcer was the most compelling indication for treatment, 61% physicians preferred Clarithromycin based triple therapy for 7–14 days. 57% of the physicians would confirm H. pylori eradication after treatment in selected patients and 47% physicians preferred serological testing for follow-up. In case of treatment failure, only 36% of the physicians were in favor of gastroenterologist referral.
Conclusion
The primary care physicians in this study lacked in knowledge regarding management of H. pylori infection. Internationally published guidelines and World gastroenterology organization (WGO) practice guideline on H. pylori for developing countries have little impact on current practices of primary care physicians. We recommend more teaching programs, continuous medical education activities regarding H. pylori infection.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-9-23
PMCID: PMC2678140  PMID: 19358721
6.  Acceptability and outcomes of the Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) tube placement- patients' and care givers' perspectives 
BMC Gastroenterology  2006;6:37.
Background
Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube has now become a preferred option for the long-term nutritional support device for patients with dysphagia. There is a considerable debate about the health issues related to the quality of life of these patients. Our aim of the study was to assess the outcome and perspectives of patients/care givers, about the acceptability of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube placement.
Methods
This descriptive analytic study conducted in patients, who have undergone percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube placement during January 1998 till December 2004. Medical records of these patients were evaluated for their demographic characteristics, underlying diagnosis, indications and complications. Telephonic interviews were conducted till March 2005, on a pre-tested questionnaire to address psychological, social and physical performance status, of the health related quality of life issues.
Results
A total of 191 patients' medical records were reviewed, 120 (63%) were males, and mean age was 63 years. Early complication was infection at PEG tube site in 6 (3%) patients. In follow up over 365 ± 149 days, late complications (occurring 72 hours later) were infection at PEG tube site in 29 (15 %) patient and dislodgment/blockage of the tube in 26 (13.6%). Interviews were possible with 126 patients/caretakers. Karnofsky Performance Score of 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 was found in 13(10%), 18(14%), 21(17%), 29(23%) and 45(36%) with p-value < 0.001. Regarding the social and psychological aspects; 76(60%) would like to have the PEG tube again if required, 105(83 %) felt ease in feeding, and 76(60%) felt that PEG-tube helped in prolonging the survival. Regarding negative opinions; 49(39 %) felt that the feeding was too frequent, 45(36 %) felt apprehensive about dependency for feeding and 62(49%) were concerned about an increase in the cost of care.
Conclusion
PEG-tube placement was found to be relatively free from serious immediate and long- term complications. Majority of caregivers and patient felt that PEG-tube helped in feeding and prolonging the survival. Studies are needed to assess the real benefit in terms of actual nutritional gain and quality of life in such patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-6-37
PMCID: PMC1676010  PMID: 17125502
7.  Role of rapid urease test and histopathology in the diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection in a developing country 
BMC Gastroenterology  2005;5:38.
Background
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of commonly self-prescribed proton pump inhibitors (PPI) on the results of rapid urease test and histology for the diagnosis of H. pylori infection.
Methods
One hundred-nine consecutive patients with dyspeptic symptoms attending the endoscopy suite were enrolled in this study. Antrum biopsy specimens were collected at endoscopy for the rapid urease test (Pronto Dry, Medical Instrument Corp, France) and histopathology. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV) and like-hood ratio of a positive and negative of Pronto Dry test were compared against histology. The gold standard test for the diagnosis of H. pylori infection was histopathology.
Results
Sixty-one percent (66/109) patients were males with mean age of 43 ± 14.1 years and age range 17–80 years. Fifty-two percent (57/109) were not on any medications while 48% (52/109) used PPI before presentation to the outpatients. Pronto Dry was positive in 40% (44/109) and negative in 60% (65/109). Histopathology was positive for H. pylori in 57% (62/109) and negative in 43% (47/109). The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV and like-hood ratio of a positive and negative Pronto Dry test with and without PPI were 43.3%, 86.4%, 81.3%, 3.18, 0.656 and 52.8% vs 71.9%, 80%, 82.1%, 69%, 3.59 and 0.35.
Conclusion
This study shows that the sensitivity, specificity, NPV and PPV of rapid urease test was reduced in patients who are on PPI. The exclusive use of the rapid urease test for the diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori cannot be recommended in patients with prior PPI use.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-5-38
PMCID: PMC1316874  PMID: 16309551

Results 1-7 (7)