Prevalence of helicobacter pylori among Nigerian patients with dyspepsia in Ibadan
Abiodun Christopher Jemilohun, Jesse Abiodun Otegbayo, Samuel Olawale Ola, Olayiwola Abideen Oluwasola, Adegboyega Akere
The Pan African Medical Journal. 2010;6:18. doi:10.11604/pamj.2010.6.18.291

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Prevalence of helicobacter pylori among Nigerian patients with dyspepsia in Ibadan

Cite this: The Pan African Medical Journal. 2010;6:18. doi:10.11604/pamj.2010.6.18.291

Received: 28/07/2010 - Accepted: 19/09/2010 - Published: 20/09/2010

Key words: Dyspepsia, Helicobacter pylori, Histology, Rapid urease test, Nigeria

© Abiodun Christopher Jemilohun et al. The Pan African Medical Journal - ISSN 1937-8688. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Available online at: http://www.panafrican-med-journal.com/content/article/6/18/full

Corresponding author: Abiodun Christopher Jemilohun, Department of Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Oshogbo, phone: +2348038674623, P.M.B. 5000, Oshogbo, Osun State, Nigeria (chrislohun@yahoo.com)


Prevalence of helicobacter pylori among Nigerian patients with dyspepsia in Ibadan

 

Abiodun Christopher Jemilohun1,&, Jesse Abiodun Otegbayo2, Samuel Olawale Ola, Olayiwola Abideen Oluwasola3, Adegboyega Akere2

           

1Department of Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Oshogbo, Nigeria, 2Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan and University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria, 3Department of Morbid Anatomy and Histopathology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan and University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria

 

 

&Corresponding author

Abiodun Christopher Jemilohun, Department of Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Oshogbo, phone: +2348038674623, P.M.B. 5000, Oshogbo, Osun State, Nigeria

 

 

Introduction

 

The discovery of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) by Warren and Marshall, in 1983 was a major breakthrough in the management of dyspepsia [1]. H. pylori is a gram negative, spiral, flagellated bacterium with a capability for abundant urease production which has been implicated in several upper gastrointestinal diseases that present as dyspepsia [2,3]. The organism is usually found under the mucus layer in the gastric pits in close apposition to gastric epithelial cells where it causes damage to the cells [4]. It is a major aetiological factor in chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, gastric carcinoma, and gastric mucosal associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma [2,3]. Peptic ulcer disease is now viewed as an infectious disease since eradication of H. pylori leads to its cure [4].

 

Various diagnostic tests for H. pylori have been developed and they can be broadly classified into invasive and non-invasive tests [4]. Invasive tests utilize endoscopic biopsy samples for histology, culture, rapid urease test (RUT) and polymerase chain reaction. All these tests have been found to have sensitivity and specificity that are well above 90% [5].

 

The non-invasive tests do not require endoscopy. These include urea breath test (UBT), immunoglobulin G and M serology, stool antigen test, saliva antibody test and urinary antibody test [4]. In Nigeria, the non-invasive tests are not generally available except Immunoglobulin G (IgG) serology. The value of serological tests in a hyper-endemic area like Nigeria is limited, because of their low discriminatory power between previous and current infection.

 

The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of H. pylori among dyspeptic patients seen at the University College Hospital, Ibadan and its association with gastroduodenal pathologies using gastric biopsy histology and rapid urease test. The hospital serves as a referral centre for a substantial part of the South-Western region of Nigeria.

 

 

Methods

 

The study was carried out at the Endoscopy sub-unit of the Gastrointestinal & Liver Unit, Department of Medicine, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Nigeria.

 

Ethical clearance was sought and obtained from the Joint University of Ibadan/ University College Hospital Institutional Review Committee. Eighty-six consecutive adult patients with dyspeptic symptoms undergoing endoscopy from April 2008 to February 2009 were recruited after obtaining informed consent from them. Patients who were previously treated for H. pylori infection or who had received antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors or bismuth compounds in the preceding 4 weeks were excluded. Base line bio-data were obtained.

 

Oesophago-gastro-duodenoscopy (OGD) was performed on all the participants using Olympus (GFI-XQ20) or Pentax (FG29W) forward-viewing Oesophago-gastro-duodenoscope. Endoscopic features of each patient were recorded. Endoscopic appearance was considered normal if the mucosal was pink in colour, smooth and lustrous. Two gastric antral mucosal biopsies were taken for each of RUT and histology. A diagnosis of H. pylori infection was made when both or one of these two tests was positive.

 

Rapid urease test (RUT)

 

Two of the four antral biopsies taken from each patient were used immediately for RUT using GUT-plus by Albyn medical, Smart Medical Group,UK. GUT plus is a new generation RUT kit that consists of two dry filter paper containing urea and phenol red (a pH indicator) in a sealed plastic slide. If the urease enzyme of H. pylori is present in an inserted tissue sample, the resulting decomposition of urea to CO2 and NH3 causes the pH to rise and the colour of the dot turns from yellow to a bright magenta. Results were read within 3 hours after sampling according to the manufacturer’s specification. Colour change from yellow to magenta was considered a positive result while no colour change was regarded as negative.

 

Histology

 

The other two antral biopsies were fixed in 10% formaldehyde and transferred to the histopathology laboratory for processing. Four micron thick paraffin sections were stained with routine Haematoxylin and Eosin for detection of H. pylori and gastritis. Giemsa stain was also used for better yield. Slides were examined microscopically for H. pylori by the Pathologist. Presence of Helicobacter-like organisms was regarded as positive while absence was regarded as negative.

 

Data analysis

 

Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences, version16.0 (SPSS Inc. Chicago Illinois). Results were presented as means ± standard deviation for quantitative variables and number (percentages) for qualitative variables.

 

Categorical variables were compared with Pearson’s Chi-square. Significant P-value was taken as <0.01.

 

 

Results

 

There were 39 (45.3%) males and 47(54.7%) females. The mean age was 49.19 (±13.75) years. The age ranged from 23 to 85 years. Forty-five (52.35%) and 52 (60.5 %) patients were H. pylori positive with histology and RUT respectively. Fifty-five (64%) patients were positive when results of both tests were combined.

 

The most common abnormality at endoscopy was gastritis which was seen in 52 (60.5%) patients, followed by duodenitis 16(18.6%) and doudenogastric reflux 14(16.3%). Gastric ulcer (GU) was recorded in 8(9.3%) patients, 7(8.1%) patients had oesophagitis, while 3(3.5%) and 2(2.3%) patients had gastric cancer and duodenal ulcer (DU) respectively. Serious gastroduodenal pathologies (GU, DU and gastric cancer) were documented in only 12 (14%) patients. It is noteworthy however, that there was a considerable overlap in the endoscopic findings in these subjects as many of them with other endoscopic lesions also had gastritis.

Sixty-eight (79.1%) patients had endoscopically identifiable cause for their dyspepsia while the remaining 18(20.9%) had normal endoscopic findings. Forty -two (76.4%) patients among those with abnormal endoscopic appearance had H. pylori while 13 (72.2%) of those with normal endoscopic findings were positive for the organism. There was no significant difference (P-value = 0.41) between the frequency of H. pylori among those with endoscopic abnormality and those with normal findings. Table 1 shows the spectrum of endoscopic findings, while table 2 shows the association between H. pylori status and the presence of endoscopic abnormality.

 

The association between H. pylori status and various endoscopic abnormalities is depicted in table 3. 33(63.5%) out of the 52 patients with gastritis had H. pylori infection, while 8 (50%) out of 16 and 7(58.3%) out of 12 patients with duodenitis and serious gastrointestinal lesions respectively had H. pylori infection. These relationships however were not statistically significant.

 

 

Discussion

 

In this study, H. pylori was diagnosed in 64% of the patients. This is consistent with results of previous studies conducted in Nigeria and other parts of West Africa which have consistently shown a high prevalence of H. pylori with the use of biopsy based methods [6-11]. Previous studies conducted in various parts of South-Western Nigeria (including the University College Hospital, Ibadan) in which patients were investigated for H. pylori with the use of either histology or campylobacter-like organism (CLO) test showed prevalence rates of 60.5% to 73% [6,7,12] . Seroprevalence studies conducted in the same region showed prevalence rates as high as 88% to 94.5% [3,13]. These are not unexpected in a hyper-endemic area like Nigeria since serological tests cannot discriminate between previous and current infections. The sero-prevalence assay’s IgG antibody lasts for up to 3 years or more in the serum even after the organism has been eradicated.

 

The most common identifiable lesion at endoscopy in this study was gastritis which had a frequency of 60.5%. This is comparable to a frequency of 60% obtained in a previous study conducted in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria [9]. An earlier study conducted at the University College Hospital, Ibadan showed a frequency of 13.4% for gastritis while normal mucosal was the commonest finding with a frequency of 53% [14]. This disparity may be as a result of a change in the pattern of presentation of endoscopic lesions among patients with dyspepsia in more than two decades after the conduct of the previous study.

 

Our study showed that despite the high prevalence of H. pylori infection in the South-Western part of Nigeria, the prevalence of serious gastroduodenal pathologies (GU, DU and gastric cancer) was low as these lesions were documented in only 14% of all the patients. This is consistent with findings of previous studies conducted at the same centre and in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria [9,14].

 

In addition, this study showed that 63.5% of patients with endoscopic gastritis had H. pylori infection. This is consistent with previous studies in Nigeria that showed a high prevalence of H. pylori among patients with gastritis [6,9]. Also, among patients with serious gastroduodenal pathologies (GU, DU and gastric cancer) 58.3% had H. pylori infection. This finding corroborates the results from similar studies conducted in Nigeria and other parts of Africa [6,8,9,15].  Although the association of these lesions with H. pylori infection was not statistically significant, a further study involving a larger number of patients is needed to establish the true association between the infection and the lesions.

 

It was noted that 13 (72.2%) of the 18 subjects with normal endoscopic findings were positive for H. pylori and no statistically significant difference existed in the frequency of H. pylori infection among patients with abnormal endoscopic findings and those with normal findings . This could be explained by the very high H. pylori prevalence among Nigerians [13,16] and may suggest that the infection was responsible for the symptoms of dyspepsia in such patients. Hence such H. pylori positive patients should be treated with anti-H. pylori therapy.

 

One major limitation of this study is that it was conducted in a hospital setting and may not be a true representation of the prevalence of H. pylori among dyspeptics in the general population of the South-Western Nigeria, more so, that the study was carried out only in one centre. A community study is therefore desirable as this is usually more representative.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This study shows that the prevalence of H. pylori among dyspeptic patients using biopsy based methods is high in the South-Western part of Nigeria. It also suggests that gastritis is the commonest lesion seen at endoscopy among patients with dyspepsia and that despite the high prevalence of H. pylori infection in the South-Western part of Nigeria, the prevalence of serious gastroduodenal pathology (GU, DU and gastric cancer) is low. Of note is the high prevalence of H. pylori in endoscopically normal patients. It is therefore important to test and treat H. pylori among Nigerians with dyspepsia.

 

 

Competing interests

 

The authors declare no competing interests.

 

 

Authors’ contributions

 

AC Jemilohun: conception and design of the study; collection, analysis and interpretation of data; and manuscript write up. JA Otegbayo: oversight of all the stages of the research, participated in data collection and manuscript write up. SO Ola: data collection and manuscript write up. A Akere: data collection and manuscript write up OA Oluwasola: histology slide report and manuscript write up.

 

 

Tables

 

Table 1: Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy findings in adult Nigerian patients with dyspepsia

Table 2: Association between H. pylori status and presence of endoscopic abnormality in adult Nigerian patients with dyspepsia

Table 3: Association between H. pylori status and various endoscopic abnormalities in adult Nigerian patients with dyspepsia

 

 

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