This research study led by Dr. Javed Yakoob from Aga Khan University, Karachi, has determined that a gastric juice polymerase chain reaction test for the diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection has greater sensitivity compared to histology when commonly used potent acid-reducing drugs such as proton pump inhibitors are being used. The use of the gastric juice PCR test can be recommended to confirm H. pylori status in patients taking PPIs.
This study determined the efficiency of a gastric juice PCR test for the detection of H. pylori infection in patients receiving PPI therapy and compared it with histology and gastric biopsy PCR.
Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) is a gram-negative spiral bacterium that infects the human gastric mucosa and is associated with gastritis, gastroduodenal ulcer disease, gastric carcinoma, and lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue.
An accurate diagnosis of H pylori infection is important when seeking to cure patients with persistent gastric symptoms in which H pylori infection is suspected. In patients on acid-reducing drugs such as PPI or H2-receptor blockers (H2RB), the accuracy of the rapid urease test, urea breath test and histology are known to be lower for the diagnosis of H pylori infection.
In the view of the authors, the development of new targets to test for H pylori infection in patients with prior use of acid-reducing drugs is important, considering the morbidity and mortality associated with this infection. Gastric juice PCR has been evaluated as a highly specific and rapid method for the detection of H pylori.
Using an original design, this study represents a real and valuable advance in the methodology of diagnosis in this field. This research was performed by doctors with the Department of Microbiology and Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. The study was funded by the Aga Khan University Research Committee.
Reference: Yakoob J, Rasool S, Abbas Z, Jafri W, Abid S, Islam M, Ahmad Z. Gastric juice for the diagnosis of H pylori infection in patients on proton pump inhibitors. World J Gastroenterol 2008; 14(10): 1539-1543 http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/14/1539.asp
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