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J Egypt Public Health Assoc. 2013 Aug;88(2):74-8. doi: 10.1097/01.EPX.0000430958.09388.0e.

Frequency of Helicobacter pylori infection among Egyptian children presenting with gastrointestinal manifestations.

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Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University Specialized Children Hospital, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.



Recurrent abdominal pain (RAP) and other gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are common complaints among children. The role of Helicobacter pylori in the causation of these complaints remains controversial. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of H. pylori infection among children presenting with GI manifestations and to determine the most common clinical presentation of the infection in Egyptian children.


This prospective cross-sectional study included 150 consecutive patients aged 5-15 years who presented to the outpatient clinic of Cairo University's Specialized Pediatric Hospital with GI complaints. Screening for H. pylori infection was performed using a 13C-urea breath test (13C-UBT), and in patients whose 13C-UBT was positive, diagnosis was confirmed by visualizing the bacterium in biopsy specimens obtained by GI endoscopy.


RAP was the most frequent GI complaint of the study population (82%), followed by anorexia (6.7%), vomiting (6.7%), and chronic diarrhea (4.7%). Seventy percent of these patients were positive for the 13C-UBT. Ninety-one of the patients who complained of RAP had a positive 13C-UBT, whereas the remaining 32 patients who had RAP had a negative 13C-UBT, a difference that was statistically significant (P=0.023). However, no statistically significant differences were found between the 13C-UBT result among patients with anorexia, vomiting, or diarrhea (P=0.153, 1.00, and 0.447, respectively).


Screening for H. pylori infection should be performed for school-aged children who have GI complaints, especially for those who complain of RAP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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