Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2000  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 27-32

The pattern of lower gastrointestinal disease in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia: A retrospective analysis of 1590 consecutive patients

1 Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine & Medical Sciences, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Pathology, College of Medicine & Medical Sciences, King Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mohamed B Satti
Professor of Pathology, P.O. Box 40029, Al Khobar 31952
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19864725

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To determine the pattern of lower gastrointestinal disease in the Eastern region of Saudi Arabia we analysed 1907 colorectal biopsies obtained from 1590 consecutive patients (1256 males & 334 females), evaluated during a 13 year period (1983-1996) in a tertiary care teaching hospital. The age range was 6-81 years with a mean of 37 + 15. During the same period 6874 new patients were seen in the Gastroenterology Clinics. Saudi Arabs constituted 970 (61 %) of all patients. The remaining 620 (39%) were non-Saudi, mostly of Arab origin from neighbouring countries. The most common presenting symptom for referral was abdominal pain (1193 patients, 75%) followed by diarrhea (636 patients, 40%). The most frequent histologic diagnosis was a normal mucosa followed by non specific proctocolitis accounting respectively for 37.9% and 37.4% of all cases. These were followed by schistosomiasis, 113 (7.1%), adenocarcinoma, 91 (5.7%) and ulcerative colitis, 91 cases with a relative frequency of 5.7% and a calculated prevalence of 1.3%. Of significance was the encounter of 14 cases of Crohn's disease amounting to 0.9% of all cases with a calculated prevalence of 0.2%. A minority of 83 patients (5.2%) were cases of either a benign polyp, diverticular disease, tuberculosis, ischaemia, lymphoma, pseudomembranous colitis (PMC), eosinophilic gastroenteritis or malacoplakia. These data show that although a "normal mucosa" and "nonspecific proctocolitis" were the dominant diagnoses, significantly, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease exist and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of lower GI disease.

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