Research Article

Comparison of fibreoptic endoscopy in acute upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage in Africans and Europeans.

Br Med J 1975; 4 doi: (Published 01 November 1975) Cite this as: Br Med J 1975;4:259
  1. A C Wicks,
  2. G E Thomas,
  3. D J Clain


    The results of endoscopy in acute upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage were compared in a group of 138 Africans and one of 84 Europeans. Contrary to widely held clinical opinion, the incidence of gastric and duodenal ulceration was similar in the two races. Peptic ulcers were the main source of bleeding in both groups and were surprisingly more common than varices in the Africans. Bleeding from varices, however, was far more common in the Africans than in the Europeans. Stomal ulcers were confined to Europeans. Gastric erosions, often attributed to herbal medicines, were more common in the Africans but the difference was not significant. The study was not designed to determine reduced mortality since the introduction of endoscopy, but management, especially in the Africans, was aided by early recognition of haemorrhage from oesophageal varices and acute gastric erosions.