Tanzania Journal of Health Research

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Predictors of outcome among patients with obstructive jaundice at Bugando Medical Centre in north-western Tanzania

Joseph B. Mabula, Japhet M. Gilyoma, Mabula D. Mchembe, Hyasinta Jaka, Erasmus Kamugisha, Benson Kidenya, Peter F. Rambau, Phillipo L. Chalya


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.
AJOL African Journals Online