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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.  Prevalence of non Helicobacter pylori species in patients presenting with dyspepsia 
BMC Gastroenterology  2012;12:3.
Background
Helicobacter species associated with human infection include Helicobacter pylori, Helicobacter heilmannii and Helicobacter felis among others. In this study we determined the prevalence of H. pylori and non-Helicobacter pylori organisms H. felis and H. heilmannii and analyzed the association between coinfection with these organisms and gastric pathology in patients presenting with dyspepsia. Biopsy specimens were obtained from patients with dyspepsia on esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) for rapid urease test, histology and PCR examination for Helicobacter genus specific 16S rDNA, H. pylori phosphoglucosamine mutase (glmM) and urease B (ureB) gene of H. heilmannii and H. felis. Sequencing of PCR products of H. heilmannii and H. felis was done.
Results
Two hundred-fifty patients with dyspepsia were enrolled in the study. The mean age was 39 ± 12 years with males 162(65%). Twenty-six percent (66 out of 250) were exposed to cats or dogs. PCR for Helicobacter genus specific 16S rDNA was positive in 167/250 (67%), H. pylori glmM in 142/250 (57%), H. heilmannii in 17/250 (6%) and H. felis in 10/250 (4%), respectively. All the H. heilmannii and H. felis PCR positive patients were also positive for H. pylori PCR amplification. The occurrence of coinfection of H. pylori and H. heilmannii was 17(6%) and with H. felis was 10(4%), respectively. Only one out of 66 exposed to pets were positive for H. heilmannii and two for H. felis. Histopathology was carried out in 160(64%) of 250 cases. Chronic active inflammation was observed in 53(56%) (p = 0.001) of the patients with H. pylori infection alone as compared to 3(37%) (p = 0.73) coinfected with H. heilmannii and H. pylori and 3(60%) coinfected with H. felis and H. pylori (p = 0.66). Intestinal metaplasia was observed in 3(3%)(p = 1.0) of the patients with H. pylori infection alone as compared to 2(25%) (p = 0.02) coinfected with H. heilmannii and H. pylori and 1(20%) coinfected with H. felis and H. pylori (p = 0.15).
Conclusion
The prevalence of H. heilmannii and H. felis was low in our patients with dyspepsia. Exposure to pets did not increase the risk of H. heilmannii or H. felis infection. The coinfection of H. pylori with H. heilmannii was seen associated with intestinal metaplasia, however this need further confirmation.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-3
PMCID: PMC3276444  PMID: 22226326
Dyspepsia; gastric biopsies; H. pylori; H. heilmannii; H. felis; coinfection; cats; dogs
4.  Distribution of Helicobacter pylori virulence markers in patients with gastroduodenal diseases in Pakistan 
BMC Gastroenterology  2009;9:87.
Background
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is known to be associated with a spectrum of gastroduodenal diseases. We studied the association of H. pylori virulence markers cytotoxin-associated gene (cagA) and vacuolating associated cytotoxin gene (vacA) alleles in patients with non ulcer dyspepsia (NUD), gastric ulcer (GU), gastric carcinoma (GC) and duodenal ulcer (DU).
Methods
H. pylori infection established by both rapid urease test and histology were studied. The cagA and vacA allelic status was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Sequencing of vacA i1 and i2 PCR product was carried out.
Results
Two hundred and twenty-four patients were included, 141 (63%) were males with a mean age of 45 ± 16, range 16-83 years. The virulence marker cagA was associated with GU in 20(63%) (p = 0.04), DU in 23(72%) (p = 0.003) and GC in 29(73%) (p = 0.001) compared to NUD in 51(42%). VacA s1am1 was associated with GU in 23(72%) (p = 0.001), DU in 17(53%) (p < 0.001) and GC in 23(58%) (p = 0.003) compared to NUD in 38(32%) while vacA s1bm1 was also associated with GU in 9(28%) (p = 0.001), DU in 12(37%) (p < 0.001) and GC 11(28%) (p < 0.001) compared to NUD in 13(11%), respectively. The diagnoses of GU in 21(66%), DU in 16(50%), GC in 20(50%) and NUD in 50(42%) were associated with moderately active chronic inflammation. CagA in 55(45%) (p = 0.037), vacA s1am1 in 51(51%) (P < 0.001), s1bm1 in 25(56%) (p = 0.002), s1am2 32(30%) (p < 0.001) and s1bm2 29(69%) (p = 0.004) were also associated with moderately active chronic inflammation.
Conclusion
CagA was negative in majority of NUD patients with H. pylori infection. However, cagA was associated with peptic ulcer and GC. VacA allele's s1am1 and s1bm1 were associated with H. pylori associated diseases and inflammation.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-9-87
PMCID: PMC2784790  PMID: 19930551
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.  Outcomes in culture positive and culture negative ascitic fluid infection in patients with viral cirrhosis: cohort study 
BMC Gastroenterology  2008;8:59.
Background
Ascitic fluid infection (AFI) in cirrhotic patients has a high morbidity and mortality. It has two variants namely, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) and culture negative neutrocytic ascites (CNNA). The aim of this study was to determine the outcome in cirrhotic patients with culture positive (SBP) and culture negative neutrocytic ascites.
Methods
We analyzed 675 consecutive hepatitis B and/or C related cirrhosis patients with ascites admitted in our hospital from November 2005 to December 2007. Of these, 187 patients had AFI; clinical and laboratory parameters of these patients including causes of cirrhosis, Child Turcotte Pugh (CTP) score were recorded.
Results
Out of 187 patients with AFI, 44 (23.5%) had SBP while 143 (76.4%) had CNNA. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection was the most common cause of cirrhosis in 139 (74.3%) patients. Patients with SBP had high CTP score as compared to CNNA (12.52 ± 1.45 vs. 11.44 ± 1.66); p < 0.001. Platelets count was low in patients with SBP (101 ± 53 × 109/L) as compared to CNNA (132 ± 91 × 109/L), p = 0.005. We found a high creatinine (mg/dl) (1.95 ± 1.0 vs. 1.44 ± 0.85), (p = 0.003) and high prothrombin time (PT) in seconds (24.8 ± 6.6 vs. 22.4 ± 7.2) (p = 0.04) in SBP as compared to CNNA. More patients with SBP (14/44; 31.8%) had blood culture positivity as compare to CNNA (14/143; 9.8%), p = 0.002. Escherichia. Coli was the commonest organism in blood culture in 15/28 (53.5%) patients. SBP group had a higher mortality (11/44; 25%) as compared to CNNA (12/143; 8.4%), p = 0.003. On multiple logistic regression analysis, creatinine >1.1 mg/dl and positive blood culture were the independent predictors of mortality in patients with SBP.
Conclusion
Patients with SBP have a higher mortality than CNNA. Independent predictors of mortality in SBP are raised serum creatinine and a positive blood culture.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-8-59
PMCID: PMC2628346  PMID: 19091136
7.  Predictors of gastrointestinal lesions on endoscopy in iron deficiency anemia without gastrointestinal symptoms 
BMC Gastroenterology  2008;8:52.
Background
Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) due to occult gastrointestinal (GI) blood loss usually remains unnoticed until patient become symptomatic. There is sparse data in IDA patients without gastrointestinal symptoms. This study was designed to find out the frequency and predictors of endoscopic lesions in IDA without gastrointestinal symptoms. Cross-sectional study performed on a convenience sample of consecutive subjects.
Methods
Ninety five consecutive patients with laboratory based diagnosis of IDA having no gastrointestinal symptoms were interviewed and their clinical and biochemical variables were recorded. All the study patients underwent esophago-gastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and colonoscopy. Endoscopic findings were documented as presence/absence of bleeding related lesion and presence/absence of cause of IDA. Multiple logistic regressions were performed to identify variables significantly related to outcome variables.
Results
Possible cause of anaemia was found in 71% and bleeding related lesions were found in 53% of patients. Upper gastrointestinal tract lesions were found in 41% of patients with bleeding related lesions. On multivariable logistic regression; advancing age, low mean corpuscular volume (MCV ≤ 60 fl), and positive fecal occult blood test were predictive factors for bleeding related GI lesions and cause of IDA
Conclusion
Clinical and Biochemical markers can predict gastrointestinal lesions on endoscopy in IDA patients without gastrointestinal symptoms. High proportion of upper gastrointestinal involvement warrants EGD as initial endoscopic procedure however, this needs validation by further studies.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-8-52
PMCID: PMC2613391  PMID: 18992171
8.  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
9.  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 1-9 (9)