Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy findings in patients referred with upper gastrointestinal symptoms in Eldoret, Kenya: a retrospective review

  • PO Ayuo
  • FF Some
  • J Kiplagat


Background: Dyspepsia is one of the major indications for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Other indications include dysphagia, odynophagia and gastrointestinal bleeding. Endoscopy is an expensive procedure that is out of reach of many patients in resource constrained region such as western Kenya. We reviewed endoscopy records from both public and private health institutions spanning ten years.
Objective: To determine the pattern of referral and endoscopy diagnoses in patients referred for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in Eldoret, Kenya.
Design: Retrospective chart review.
Setting: Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, private hospitals and private clinics in
Eldoret, Kenya
Subjects: One thousand six hundred and ninety (1690) Patients who underwent upper GI endoscopy from 1993 to 2003 were reviewed after obtaining clearances from the respective institutions. Information on age, sex, symptoms, and endoscopy diagnosis were extracted and subjected to statistical analysis.
Results: The most common symptom was dyspepsia in 1059 (62.7%) followed by dysphagia in 224 (13.3%). Others were referred with diagnosis of cancer of the stomach or oesophagus. Common endoscopy diagnoses were cancer of the oesophagus in 199 (11.8%) and duodenal ulcer in 186 (11.0%). The majority of the patients (30.4%) had normal endoscopy findings. Of the 1059 patients with dyspepsia, only 154 (14.5%) had duodenal ulcer and 34 (3.2%) had gastric ulcers, the majority, 37.2% had normal endoscopy findings.
Conclusion: Dyspepsia was main reason for referral, but the majority of such patients had normal findings. Cancer of the oesophagus was the main diagnosis in patients with dysphagia. In view of the cost of endoscopy, only those with dyspepsia and alarm symptoms be referred for the procedure.


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eISSN: 0012-835X