Helicobacter Pylori Infection in Patients Referred for Endoscopy at The University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka
Mulia, Custer Mushe
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A prospective study was conducted to determine the frequency of occurrence of Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) infection in out-patients presenting to the gastroenterology unit of the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), Lusaka, over a ten months period. Dyspepsia and upper gastrointestinal bleeding were the commonest symptoms for requesting endoscopy. A total number of 87 patients were interviewed using a standardised symptom and demography questionnaire and then underwent upper endoscopy and antral biopsy. There were 49 males and 38 females (ratio 1.3:1) and the age range was 17-74 years with a mean of 37. All the 87 were tested for H. pylori infection. Abnormal endoscopy results were obtained in 30 of the 87 (35%) patients and the major endoscopic findings were peptic ulcer disease in 13 patients (14.9%) and gastritis in 12 patients (13.8%).To identify H. pylori infection five antral biopsy specimens were taken from all patients and these were then examined using giemsa stain, gram stain, biopsy urease test and culture. Infection was considered positive when two or more tests were positive for H. pylori, indeterminate if one of the tests was positive and negative if all four were negative. Infection by H. pylori was found in 54 patients (62%), 15 patients (17%) had indeterminate results and 18 patients (18%) were negative. Among the 57 patients with normal endoscopic findings 32 patients (56%) had infection and of the 30 patients with abnormal findings, 22 (73%) had H. pylori infection. The result of this study show that H. pylori infection is a common finding in patients referred for gastroscopy at UTH, Lusaka.