Infectious Diseases of the Upper Gastrointestinal Tract
Korean J Helicobacter Up Gastrointest Res 2019;19(1):16-22
Published online March 10, 2019
© 2019 Korean College of Helicobacter and Upper Gastrointestinal Research.

Min Roh, Yang Won Min

Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Yang Won Min
Department of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 81 Irwon-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06351, Korea
Tel: +82-2-3410-3409, Fax: +82-2-3410-6983, E-mail:
Received January 18, 2019; Revised February 11, 2019; Accepted February 11, 2019.
The Korean Journal of Helicobacter and Upper Gastrointestinal Research is an Open-Access Journal. All articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Infectious diseases of the upper gastrointestinal tract are rare, but certain bacteria including Treponema pallidum and
Mycobacterium tuberculosis may infect the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum even in an immunocompetent individual. Gastric
syphilis is difficult to diagnose because it presents with non-specific symptoms and diverse endoscopic findings. Nevertheless, gastric syphilis should be considered in the differential diagnosis when a patient presents with chronic inflammatory gastric lesions
such as multiple  erosive/ulcerative lesions and stricture or with other evidence of syphilis. Histological evaluation and specific serological tests should be performed if syphilis is suspected. Esophageal and gastroduodenal tuberculosis also exhibits non-specific
clinical manifestations. The diagnosis is confirmed by mucosal biopsy or aspiration cytology revealing the presence of caseating
granulomata and/or acid-fast bacilli. Mycobacterial culture and polymerase chain reaction should be incorporated into routine diagnostic studies to improve the diagnostic sensitivity. The diagnosis of tuberculosis is occasionally confirmed indirectly by an excellent response of the patient to anti-tubercular therapy.
Keywords : Duodenum; Esophagus; Stomach; Syphilis; Tuberculosis

March 2019, 19 (1)
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