High degree of duodenal inflammation in Nigerians with functional dyspepsia
Sylvester Chuks Nwokediuko,1 Uchenna N Ijoma,1 Olive Obienu,1 Gideon E Anigbo,1 Okechukwu Okafor2
1Department of Medicine, 2Department of Morbid Anatomy, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku/Ozalla Enugu, Nigeria
Background: Functional dyspepsia (FD) is a heterogeneous disorder associated with diverse pathophysiological mechanisms, including immune activation and low-grade mucosal inflammation. Genetic factors, physiological functions, and environmental factors may determine the relative importance of various pathophysiological mechanisms. This study was designed to determine the histological alterations in the duodenal mucosa of Nigerian patients with FD.
Methods: Consecutive patients with dyspepsia seen over a 27-month period in two gastrointestinal endoscopy facilities in Enugu, South-East Nigeria were further evaluated with upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and duodenal mucosal biopsies if no lesion was found in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Patients with heartburn and/or regurgitation who did not have any dyspeptic symptoms and did not have any lesion in the upper gastrointestinal tract on endoscopy were presumed to have non-erosive reflux disease (NERD) and they served as controls. The control subjects also had duodenal biopsies. The histopathological findings in the cases and controls were compared.
Results: There were 68 patients with FD and 52 patients with NERD. The total inflammatory score was 242 in FD and 66 in NERD (Mann-Whitney U =1168, P=0.0011). Similarly, the scores for chronic inflammation, gastric metaplasia, neutrophilic activity, eosinophilic infiltration, and Helicobacter pylori were significantly higher in FD than NERD.
Conclusion: Functional dyspepsia is associated with a high degree of inflammation in the duodenal mucosa. This may reflect the high prevalence of gastrointestinal infections in a tropical environment such as Nigeria. These findings may have therapeutic potential that further studies might elucidate.
Keywords: functional dyspepsia, duodenitis, Nigerians
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