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South African Journal of Surgery

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

S. Afr. j. surg. vol.49 n.3 Cape Town Aug. 2011




Gastro-intestinal stromal tumours (GISTs) - the Pretoria experience and a literature review



R. J. HartleyI; J. H. R. BeckerII; H. van der WaltI; T. LuvhengoI

IM.B. Ch.B., M.Med. (chir.), F.C.S. (s.A.); Department of General Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria
IIM.B. Ch.B., M.Med. (chir.), F.C.S. (s.A.), F.R.C.S. (glasg.), F.R.C.S. (edin.); Department of General Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria




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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