Two hundred and four patients, mainly Arabs, attending for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy at the gastroenterology clinic in Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital, Kuwait, were examined for evidence of infection with Helicobacter pylori and associated inflammation. Biopsy specimens of antrum, body, and duodenum; gastric juice; and antral mucosal brushings were investigated by microbiological, cytological, and histopathological methods. Clinical conditions diagnosed at endoscopy included gastritis, gastric ulcer, duodenitis and duodenal ulcer, but half the patients had endoscopically normal gastric and duodenal mucosae. H pylori was detected by one or more of the procedures in at least one specimen from 197 (96.6%) of the patients. Histological and cytological analysis showed equal sensitivity, but bacteriological culture was less reliable. The proportion of positive cases was high, compared with other reported series, which may have been accounted for by the variety of diagnostic techniques used in this study, the selected population (all with gastrointestinal symptoms) or genetic or environmental predisposing factors peculiar to the sample population.
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