Research Article

Endoscopic studies of dyspepsia in a general practice.

Br Med J 1980; 280 doi: (Published 03 May 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;280:1136
  1. M W Gear,
  2. R J Barnes


    In an urban general practice serving 7800 patients, all patients presenting over five and a half years with dyspepsia lasting more than two weeks were investigated by fibreoptic endoscopy and cholecystography, and many by barium meal. Of the 393 patients with dyspepsia, 346 completed the investigation: 180 had specific disease of the oesophagus, stomach, duodenum, or gall bladder, including six with carcinoma. Al further 67 had mucosal disease, and only 99 patients had no abnormality. After the first year the number of patients presenting annually and the percentage of patients with specific lesions remained constant. The annual incidence for patients with dyspepsia was about 1% and for patients with specific lesions 0.4%, suggesting that each year those who became symptom free (either spontaneously or because of treatment) were balanced by a similar number who developed symptoms. In contrast to the conclusions of other workers that an "open-access" endoscopy service could not be justified because the number of patients with specific lesins fell during their survey, we suggest that such endoscopy services are indeed worth while for providing an accurate diagnosis of dyspepsia.