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Diagnostic and Therapeutic Endoscopy
Volume 6 (1999), Issue 1, Pages 25-29

Helicobacter pylori Infection in Endoscopic Biopsy Specimens of Gastric Antrum: Laboratory Diagnosis and Comparative Efficacy of Three Diagnostic Tests

1Department of Medicine, SMHS Hospital, Government Medical College, Srinagar – 190010, Kashmir, India
2Nalbandpora, Safakadal, Srinagar – 190002, Kashmir, India

Received 25 February 1999; Revised 8 June 1999; Accepted 17 June 1999

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aims and objectives The present study was undertaken to compare the diagnostic yield of three available test procedures for detecting Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection in endoscopic biopsies.

Methods H. pylori infection was sought in 150 patients referred for upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy. Multiple (about six) biopsy specimens were taken from pyloric antrum in each patient. Two biopsy specimens were subjected to one minute endoscopy room test – OMERT (a modified form of urease test), two were sent for histopathological analysis, where multiple sections were subjected to Giemsa staining and two were sent for microbiological evaluation after Gram's staining of heat fixed biopsy material.

Results H. pylori positivity using histology, microbiology and OMERT was observed to be 33%, 30% and 27% respectively. However, overall 40% patients were infected when the results from three test procedures were combined, as H. pylori positivity was repeated more than once by these procedures separately. Histology was found to be superior to other two tests in our study, especially when multiple sections were examined, for the distribution of the organism was patchy. Amongst the infected, H. pylori was seen in only 30% of all 3–8 sections cut from a biopsy, whereas in 70% it was noted in a single section only.

Conclusion The study revealed that histology has the highest detection rate and can be chosen as the “gold standard” amongst the three low cost test procedures available at present in our setup.