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South African Journal of Surgery

On-line version ISSN 2078-5151
Print version ISSN 0038-2361


HARTLEY, R. J.; BECKER, J. H. R.; VAN DER WALT, H.  and  LUVHENGO, T.. Gastro-intestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) - the Pretoria experience and a literature review. S. Afr. j. surg. [online]. 2011, vol.49, n.3, pp.128-131. ISSN 2078-5151.

AIM: To analyse the presentation and management of patients with gastro-intestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) at Pretoria hospitals. DESIGN: A retrospective study was done in which all available clinical records of primary c-KIT positive GISTs were analysed. SETTING: Secondary and tertiary care institutions in Pretoria, including both private and public hospitals. SUBJECTS: The population studied included all individuals treated at Pretoria hospitals from 17 July 2000 to 1 April 2009 who had a GIST confirmed with immunohistochemical c-KIT staining. Patients with incomplete or inaccessible clinical records were excluded. OUTCOME MEASURES: Patient demographics including gender, age and race; presenting symptoms and signs; results of special investigations; and treatment. RESULTS: Fifty-four cases were identified for inclusion in the study. The age of the subjects ranged from 15 to 83 years. The male-to-female ratio was 1.5:1. The organ most commonly affected was the stomach, and abdominal pain and weight loss were the most common presenting symptoms. Seventy-six per cent of the patients were treated surgically, and 24% received imatinib. CONCLUSION: GISTs often present late with nonspecific symptoms, and are frequently discovered incidentally. Large tumours tend to be malignant.

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