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1.  Gluten sensitivity enteropathy in patients with recurrent aphthous stomatitis 
BMC Gastroenterology  2009;9:44.
Background
Gluten sensitive enteropathy (GSE) is an autoimmune enteropathy triggered by the ingestion of gluten-containing grains in susceptible individuals. Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) may be the sole manifestation of GSE. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of gluten sensitivity enteropathy (GSE) in a large group of patients with RAS and assess the efficacy of gluten free diet (GFD) on the improvement of aphthous lesions in those who were diagnosed with GSE.
Methods
Two hundred and forty seven patients with RAS were included. The patients had at least three aphthous attacks per year. Patients were screened by IgA anti-endomysial antibody (EMA), IgA anti tissue transglutaminase (TTG) and serum IgA level. Those with a positive serology underwent endoscopic biopsies of the duodenal mucosa and patients with negative serology were excluded. The diagnosis of GSE was based on a positive serological test and abnormal duodenal histology. For patients with GSE, gluten free diet was recommended.
Results
Six out of 247 RAS patients had positive TTG test alone, and one had positive EMA and TTG. All 7 patients with positive serologic tests underwent duodenal biopsies. Histological findings were compatible with GSE in all of them (Marsh I in four patients, Marsh II in two patients and Marsh IIIB in one another.). The mean age of GSE patients was 27.42 ┬▒ 10.56 (range, 13 to 40) years old. They were suffering from RAS for an average duration of 4.5 years. All of the 7 GSE patients had not responded to the routine anti-aphthae medications, including topical corticosteroids, tetracycline and colchicine. Four patients who adhered to a strict gluten-free diet showed noticeable improvement in their aphthous lesions over a period of 6 months.
Conclusion
A significant minority (e.g. 2.83%) of RAS patients have GSE. This could be compared with the 0.9% prevalence of GSE in the general population of Iran. This study suggests that evaluation for celiac disease is appropriate in patients with RAS. Additionally, the unresponsiveness to conventional anti-aphthae treatment could be an additional risk indicator.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-9-44
PMCID: PMC2709629  PMID: 19534771
2.  Prospective Acid Reflux Study of Iran (PARSI): Methodology and study design 
BMC Gastroenterology  2007;7:42.
Background
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a common and chronic disorder but long term, prospective studies of the fate of patients seeking medical advice are scarce. This is especially prominent when looking at non-erosive reflux disease (NERD) patients.
Methods
We designed a prospective cohort to assess the long term outcome of GERD patients referring to gastroenterologists. Consecutive consenting patients, 15 years of age and older, presenting with symptoms suggestive of GERD referring to our outpatient clinics undergo a 30 minute interview. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is performed for them with protocol biopsies and blood samples are drawn. Patients are then treated according to a set protocol and followed regularly either in person or by telephone for at least 10 years.
Discussion
Our data show that such a study is feasible and follow-ups, which are the main concern, can be done in a fairly reliable way to collect data. The results of this study will help to clarify the course of various subgroups of GERD patients after coming to medical attention and their response to treatment considering different variables. In addition, the basic symptoms and biological database will fuel further molecular epidemiologic studies.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-7-42
PMCID: PMC2212633  PMID: 18028533
3.  Gender effect on clinical features of achalasia: a prospective study 
BMC Gastroenterology  2006;6:12.
Background
Achalasia is a well-characterized esophageal motor disorder but the rarity of the disease limits performing large studies on its demographic and clinical features.
Methods
Prospectively, 213 achalasia patients (110 men and 103 women) were enrolled in the study. The diagnosis established by clinical, radiographic, and endoscopic as well as manometry criteria. All patients underwent a pre-designed clinical evaluation before and within 6 months after the treatment.
Results
Solid dysphagia was the most common clinical symptom in men and women. Chest pain was the only symptom which was significantly different between two groups and was more complained by women than men (70.9% vs. 54.5% P value= 0.03). Although the occurrence of chest pain significantly reduced after treatment in both groups (P < 0.001), it was still higher among women (32% vs. 20.9% P value= 0.04). In both sexes, chest pain did not relate to the symptom duration, LES pressure and type of treatment patients received. Also no significant relation was found between chest pain and other symptoms expressed by men and women before and after treatment. Chest pain was less frequently reported by patients over 56 yrs of age in comparison to those less than 56 yrs (p < 0.05).
Conclusion
It seems that chest pain is the distinct symptom of achalasia which is affected by sex as well as age and does not relate to the duration of illness, LESP and the type of treatment achalasia patients receive.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-6-12
PMCID: PMC1450293  PMID: 16579859
4.  Serum hyaluronate as a non-invasive marker of hepatic fibrosis and inflammation in HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B 
BMC Gastroenterology  2005;5:32.
Background
HBV infection is a serious global heath problem. It is crucial to monitor this disease more closely with a non-invasive marker in clinical trials. We aimed to evaluate the predictive value of serum hyaluronate for the presence of extensive liver fibrosis and inflammation.
Methods
28 healthy volunteers and 65 patients with HBeAg negative chronic hepatitis B were enrolled. Liver biopsies scored according to Ishak system. Association of serum hyaloronate with liver fibrosis and inflammation were assessed, and cut off points for serum hyaluronate levels were identified by receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves and their values for prediction of fibrosis and inflammation were assessed.
Results
In patients with CHB serum hyaluronate had the most significant correlation and predictive values for the liver fibrosis and inflammation comparing to the other variables. At the cut off point of 126.4 ngm/ml it could discriminate extensive fibrosis from milder ones with sensitivity of 90.9% and specificity of 98.1%. With the same value it could discriminate extensive inflammation from their milder counterparts with sensitivity of 63.6% and specificity of 92.6%.
Conclusion
Serum hyaluronate was the best predictor of extensive liver fibrosis and inflammation and it could discriminate subgroups of patients with chronic hepatitis B. It could be used as a non-invasive test to monitor these patients more closely with developing anti viral agents in clinical trials.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-5-32
PMCID: PMC1266362  PMID: 16221307
5.  Hereditary risk factors for the development of gastric cancer in younger patients 
BMC Gastroenterology  2004;4:28.
Background
It is believed that the development of gastric cancer (GC) before the age of 50 has a hereditary basis. Blood group A and history of gastric cancer in first-degree relatives have been shown to be risk factors for GC.
Methods
In this case-control study, we enrolled patients with GC who were diagnosed before the age of 50. Patients who were diagnosed as having GC were selected. A total of 534 cases were found; of these, 44 diagnosed before the age of 50 were included in the case group. For the control group, 22 males and 22 females were randomly selected from the remaining subjects, who had diagnoses of GC after the age of 50. All the surviving patients and family members of the dead patients were interviewed about the history of cancer in the family and the age at which other family members developed cancer. The blood group of each subject was also obtained.
Results
forty-four cases under 50 years old (mean age: 36.2 years) and forty-four controls (mean age: 67.1 years) were enrolled in the study. At the time of the study, 59.1% of the study group and 50% of the control group were alive (P value = NS). In the study group, 68.1%, 13.6%, 13.6% and 4.5% had blood groups O, A, B and AB, respectively. In the control group the corresponding figures were 27.7%, 63.6%, 6.8% and 4.5%. First or second-degree relatives with cancer, including gastric (the most frequent), breast, lung, gynecological and hematological malignancies, were noted in 54.5% of the cases and 11.4% of the controls (p < 0.01). Family histories of cancer were accepted as valid provided that they were based on valid medical documents.
Conclusions
It seems that the development of GC before the age of 50 is likely to be accompanied by familial susceptibility. Interestingly, our study showed a significant correlation between blood group O and the development of gastric cancer under the age of 50.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-4-28
PMCID: PMC529446  PMID: 15509297

Results 1-5 (5)