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Int J Clin Pract. 2005 Feb;59(2):210-3.

Predisposing factors and clinical symptoms in HIV-negative patients with Candida oesophagitis: are they always present?

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Department of Internal Medicine, Endoscopy Unit, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece.


Candida oesophagitis (CO) is scarce among immunocompetent patients. This study aimed at evaluating predisposing factors, clinical symptoms and endoscopic findings in this group. We retrospectively reviewed 55 patients diagnosed as CO endoscopically (whitish plaques) and cytologically (fungal mycelia on brush cytology). Carcinoma, diabetes, acid suppression, steroids, gastric surgery and oesophageal motility disorders were considered as predisposing factors. Twenty of 55 patients lacked any predisposing factor for CO. These patients were more frequently asymptomatic (8/20) when compared with those with known predisposing factors (5/35) (p = 0.031). Moreover, dysphagia was more prevalent in the latter group (24/35 vs. 8/20; p = 0.039). Endoscopic findings correlated with the presence of neither predisposing factors nor symptoms (Wilcoxon p > 0.05). Thus, CO can be discovered in patients without apparent predisposing risk factors and clinical symptoms. Further studies are needed to elucidate the mechanisms of transition from colonisation to infection.

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