Prevalence of Helicobacter pylori and endoscopic findings in HIV seropositive patients with upper gastrointestinal tract symptoms at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi.
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Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositive patients frequently experience upper gastrointestinal tract (GIT) symptoms that cause considerable morbidity and are due to multiple aetiologies. The role of Helicobacter pylori gastric mucosal infection in HIV related upper GIT morbidity is unclear. No data exist on the prevalence of H. pylori gastric mucosal infection and upper gastrointestinal endoscopic findings in HIV seropositive patients at the Kenyatta National Hospital. OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of H. pylori gastric mucosal infection and the pattern of upper gastrointestinal endoscopic findings in HIV seropositive patients. DESIGN: A hospital-based prospective case-control study. SETTING: Kenyatta National Hospital, Endoscopy Unit. SUBJECTS: Fifty two HIV seropositive patients with upper GIT symptoms were recruited (as well as 52 HIV seronegative age and gender matched controls). INTERVENTION: Both cases and control subjects underwent upper GIT endoscopy and biopsies were taken according to a standard protocol. H. pylori detection was done by the rapid urease test and histology, and H. pylori gastric mucosal infection was considered to be present in the presence of a positive detection by both tests; biopsies were also taken for tissue diagnosis and CD4+ peripheral lymphocyte counts were determined using flow cytometry. RESULTS: H. pylori prevalence was 73.1% [95% CI 59.9-83.8] in HIV positive subjects and 84.6% [95% CI 72.9-92.6] in HIV negative controls (p=0.230). Prevalence of H. pylori decreased with decreasing peripheral CD4+ lymphocyte counts. Median CD4+ lymphocyte count was 67 cells per cubic millimetre in HIV positive patients. On endoscopy, the most common lesion in HIV positive patients was oesophageal candidiasis (occurring in 51.9%), which was often associated with presence of oral candidiasis and, together with erosions, ulcers and nodules in the oesophagus, occurred exclusively in these patients. A few cases of cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex oesophagitis were seen, as were cases of upper GIT Kaposi's sarcoma, and one gastric lymphoma. CONCLUSIONS: H. pylori prevalence was not significantly different between HIV positive and HIV negative subjects, and decreased in HIV positive subjects with decreasing CD4+ cell counts. Oesophageal candidiasis was the most important endoscopic finding in HIV positive patients and was often associated with oral thrush.
CitationEast Afr Med J. 2002 May;79(5):226-31
Department of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi,