Background: Characteristic immune profiles have been demonstrated in gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. However, the genetic basis of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease remains unclear. Aim: To investigate whether certain human leucocyte antigen genes are associated with Barrett's oesophagus. Methods: Asian patients of Malay, Chinese and Indian descent with Barrett's oesophagus (n = 59) and those without reflux symptoms and a normal oesophagus (n = 60) were recruited prospectively using endoscopic and histopathological criteria. Human leucocyte antigen class I and II typing was performed using a polymerase chain reaction sequence-specific primers method. Results: The HLA-B 7 allele was present in 17% (10 of 59) of patients with Barrett's oesophagus when compared with 0% (zero of 60) of controls [P = 0.0006, corrected P = 0.0171, OR = 25.67]. Subgroup analysis revealed that the HLA-B 7 allele was confined almost exclusively to Indians with Barrett's oesophagus, 43% (nine of 21) vs. 0% (zero of 19) Indian controls (P = 0.0014, corrected P = 0.0406, OR = 29.64). No class II associations, protective human leucocyte antigens or extended haplotypes for disease susceptibility were identified. Conclusions: Barrett's oesophagus in Asians, particularly Indians, is strongly positively associated with HLA-B 7; reinforcing a genetic component to gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. A larger sample size and different ethnic populations should be genotyped to further confirm this association and identify possible additional risk factors in the human leucocyte antigen locus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)