Pattern and validity of clinical diagnosis of upper gastrointestinal diseases in South-west Nigeria

  • EA Agbakwuru
  • AO Fatusi Department of Community Health, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria
  • DA Ndububa
  • OI Alatise
  • OA Arigbabu
  • DO Akinola


Background: Diagnosis of upper gastrointestinal (UGI) diseases is often made on clinical grounds alone in Nigeria due to lack of endoscopic facilities. The validity of using such diagnosis is presently unknown.

Objective: The study aimed to determine: age and sex distribution of patients presenting for UGI endoscopy; pattern of clinical and endoscopic diagnoses in patients with UGI diseases; and, the validity of clinic-based diagnosis.

Methods: Medical records of patients presenting at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria for UGI endoscopy between September 1999 and August 2003 were reviewed. Data was analysed for sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of clinical diagnosis using endoscopic diagnosis as “gold” standard.

Results: Males constituted 53.4% of subjects and mean age was 45 years (+ 1.69 SD). Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) constituted 67.6% of referral diagnosis but 33.9% of endoscopic diagnosis. PUD had the highest sensitivity value (0.72) while gastritis had the least (0.04). Specificity ranged from 0.40 for PUD to 1.00 for corrosive oesophagitis. Positive predictive value ranged from 0.29 (oesophageal cancer) to 0.67 (corrosive oesophagitis) and negative predictive value ranged from 0.66 for gastritis to 0.99 for corrosive oesophagitis.

Conclusion: The validity of clinical diagnosis in UGI conditions varied widely, and in general, there is poor agreement between clinical and endoscopic diagnoses.

African Health Sciences Vol. 6(2) 2006: 98- 103

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eISSN: 1680-6905