Carditis: all Helicobacter pylori or is there a role for gastro-oesophageal reflux?Scand J Gastroenterol 2002; 37(7):772-7SJ
Recent epidemiological studies have reported a threefold increase in the incidence of adenocarcinoma of the lower oesophagus and gastro-oesophageal junction (cardia). There are conflicting reports available implicating both gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and Helicobacter pylori infection in the aetiology of carditis and cardia intestinal metaplasia, despite strong evidence to show that these two conditions are, if anything, inversely related. We aimed to determine the prevalence of carditis and cardia intestinal metaplasia in dyspeptic subjects and also their association with H. pylori infection and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.
Histological samples from the gastric cardia were obtained from dyspeptic subjects. H. pylori status was assessed based on histological, microbiological and rapid urease testing. Gastro-oesophageal disease was diagnosed on the basis of histological evidence and/or erosive oesophagitis. Patient demographics were recorded. Cardia intestinal metaplasia (CIM), when present, was subgrouped as complete or incomplete.
Overall, 276 subjects were enrolled; 163 (59%) had carditis and 36 (13%) CIM. H. pylori infection and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease occurred in 64 (23%) and 150 (54%), respectively. H. pylori infection was strongly associated with carditis and CIM (P<0.001 and P<0.01). Older age and male gender were also associated with inflammation and intestinal metaplasia of the cardia. Gastro-oesophageal reflux was not associated with either entity.
Carditis and CIM occur frequently. Both conditions are strongly associated with H. pylori infection, older age and male gender. There was no association with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.