Tanzania Journal of Health Research

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Upper gastrointestinal endoscopic findings and prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection among adult patients with dyspepsia in northern Tanzania

Segni M. Ayana, Birgitta Swai, Venance Maro, Gibson S. Kibiki


 Dyspepsia is a common presenting complaint of various upper gastrointestinal disorders. The symptoms of causes of dyspepsia often overlap and this makes etiological diagnosis difficult. Endoscopy is the ideal procedure for identifying organic diseases of the foregut. Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with various upper gastrointestinal pathologies. A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine endoscopic findings and H. pylori status in two hundred and eight consecutive dyspeptic adult patients between June 2009 and April 2010 at Kilimanjaro Christian medical Centre, a referral and teaching hospital in northern Tanzania. The most commonly identified endoscopic findings were gastritis (61.10%), Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) (57%), and Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) (24.1%). Gastric cancer was identified in 6.7 % of patients and all of them were aged 40 years and above (p=0.00). H. pylori infection was detected in 65% (n=130) of patients. H. pylori infection was present in 57% (n=24) of patients who were tested within six months after eradication therapy. Gastritis and duodenal ulcer were statistically significantly associated with H. pylori (p<0.001). No association was found between GERD and H. pylori infection (p>0.05). Gastritis, GERD, and PUD are the leading causes of dyspepsia. H. pylori infection is present in significant proportion of dyspeptic patients.  Patients with Gastritis and PUD should undergo empirical eradication therapy if a confirmatory test is not available.  Patients with dyspepsia who are over 40 years of age should undergo Endoscopy (EGD) for initial work up. Study on antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of H. pylori is recommended to guide choices for evidence based treatment option.
AJOL African Journals Online