African Health Sciences

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Upper gastrointestinal diseases in patients for endoscopy in South-Western Uganda

S Obayo, C Muzoora, P Ocama, MM Cooney, T Wilson, CS Probert


Background: There is a paucity of published data regarding upper gastrointestinal diseases in Ugandans with upper gastrointestinal symptoms referred for endoscopy.
Objectives: To study the presenting complaints, pathology and Helicobacter pylori prevalence among patients with upper gastrointestinal symptoms in South-Western Uganda.
Methods: Patients presenting with upper gastrointestinal symptoms underwent upper endoscopy and a urease test for Helicobacter Pylori, all suspicious lesions were biopsied for histopathology review as appropriate.
Results: The most common presenting complaints were epigastric pain (51.6%), dysphagia (13.6%) and odynophagia (7.1%). The most common endoscopy finding was gastritis (40.2%), followed by normal examination (15.2%), oesophageal cancer (13.6%), gastric ulcer (7.6%) and gastric cancer (7.1%). Patients older than 40 years (n=110) had significant findings including gastritis (50.9%), oesophageal cancer (22.7%) and gastric cancer (11.8%). However in younger patients, with the age range of 18-40 years (n=74), most examinations were normal (92.9%). Of the 176 patients able to undergo Helicobacter pylori testing 75.6% were positive. Helicobacter pylori infection was associated with statistically significant increase in gastritis, oesophageal cancer, gastric ulcer, gastric cancer, and duodenal ulcers (p-values< 0.05).
Conclusion: Gastritis, ulcerative disease, and upper gastrointestinal malignancies are common in South-Western Ugandansand are associated with a high prevalence of Helicobacter pylori.

Keywords: Upper gastrointestinal symptoms, Pathology, Urease test, Helicobacter pylori, Endoscopy, Uganda.
AJOL African Journals Online