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Revista Colombiana de Gastroenterologia

Print version ISSN 0120-9957


GOMEZ ZULETA, Martín A; OTERO REGINO, William  and  RUIZ MORALES, Óscar. The role of endoscopic ultrasound in evaluating patients with dyspepsia in a Colombian population. Rev Col Gastroenterol [online]. 2019, vol.34, n.3, pp.231-236. ISSN 0120-9957.

Dyspepsia is defined as upper abdominal pain or discomfort that is considered to originate in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Many diseases and clinical conditions can cause dyspepsia. Among others, they include peptic ulcers, gastric and esophageal cancer, medications, biliary lithiasis, pancreatitis, and pancreatic cancer. Traditionally, dyspepsia is only evaluated with digestive endoscopy whose diagnostic yield is only 27%. On the other hand, endoscopic ultrasound combines an endoscopic image and an ultrasound image thereby potentially broadening diagnostic range to detect more of the causes of dyspepsia allowing treatment of patients in a timelier manner.


To evaluate whether endoscopic ultrasound increases the diagnostic yield of endoscopy (27% in our environment) in the initial approach to previously unstudied dyspepsia.

Materials and methods:

This is a prospective study of analytical prevalence in adult patients with previously unstudied dyspepsia who were examined at a university institution in Colombia. The patients included were seen in the gastroenterology unit from January to October 2016 and underwent upper digestive endoscopy and endoscopic ultrasound. Under anesthesiologist-guided sedation, the stomach and duodenal esophagus were first evaluated endoscopically. Then retrograde endoscopic ultrasound was used to evaluate the pancreas in its entirety, the extra hepatic bile duct, the gallbladder, the celiac trunk, the left lobe of the liver and the mediastinal region. All abnormalities were noted on the patient’s admission form.


In total we included 60 patients of whom 65% were female and whose average age of was 40.8 years (SD: 12.5). The findings in the endoscopic phase of the endoscopic ultrasound were mainly chronic Gastritis 43 patients (71.6%), the rest had a structural lesion (17 patients): esophagitis 5 (8.3%), gastric ulcer 2 (3.3%), duodenal ulcer 5 (8.3%), gastric cancer, 4 (6.6%), gastric subepithelial lesion (GIST) 1 (1.6%). In the endoscopy phase, we found 11 cases of cholelithiasis (18.3%), one case of choledocholithiasis (1.6%), and five cases of chronic pancreatitis (8.3%). Only 17 patients of these patients (28.3%) had a structural finding in the endoscopy phase, but 18 additional patients (30%) had some positive finding in the ultrasound phase. In other words, the diagnostic yield rose to 58.3% (p < 0.001).


Although this study’s sample size is small, it suggests that using endoscopic ultrasound in the initial evaluation of dyspepsia could be useful since it increased diagnostic yield in this group of patients from 28.3 to 58.3%. This is very significant because patients with dyspepsia and negative endoscopy are usually classified as functional and only treated with medications. However, in recognition of the methodological limitations of this study, it should be considered an initial exploration. Larger, controlled studies should be considered to confirm this work. Another factor that should be considered is the cost of endoscopic ultrasound which is much higher than the upper digestive endoscopy.

Keywords : Endoscopic ultrasound; evaluation; dyspepsia; gastric cancer.

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