Predictors of outcome among patients with obstructive jaundice at Bugando Medical Centre in north-western Tanzania
Despite recent advances both in preoperative diagnosis and postoperative care, obstructive jaundice still contributes significantly to high morbidity and mortality. A prospective study was undertaken to identify predictors of outcome among patients with obstructive jaundice at Bugando Medical Centre in north-western Tanzania. A total of 138 patients were studied. The male to female ratio was 1:1.6. The median age of patients was 58 years. Patients with malignant obstructive jaundice were older than those of benign type (P < 0.001). Ca head of pancreas (65.1%) was the commonest malignant cause of jaundice where as choledocholithiasis (51.9%) was the commonest benign cause. Twelve (9.7%) patients were HIV positive with a median CD 4+ count of 342 cells/ml. A total of 130 (94.2%) patients underwent surgical treatment and the remaining 8 (5.8%) patients were unfit for surgery. The complication rate was 30.4% mainly due to surgical site infections and it was significantly influenced by malignant causes, WBC count > 10 X 109/l and HIV infection with low CD4 (£ 200 cells/ml) (p < 0.0001). The median hospital stay and mortality rate were 18 days and 20.3%, respectively. A low haematocrit and presence of postoperative complications were the main predictors of the hospital stay (P < 0.001), whereas age > 60 years, prolonged duration of jaundice, malignant causes, high bilirubin levels, HIV infection with low CD4+ count (£ 200 cells/ml) and presence of postoperative complications significantly predicted mortality (P< 0.001). In conclusion, our study highlighted the important factors that predict the outcome of patients presenting with obstructive jaundice at BMC; therefore attention should be focused to these factors so as to improve the outcome of these patients.