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Endoscopic evaluation of dysphagia in the elderly

Endoscopic evaluation of dysphagia in the elderly

Age and Ageing 16(3): 159-164

A survey of 100 consecutive endoscopies on elderly patients with suspected obstructive dysphagia is reported. Seventy-eight patients had positive findings and one to three lesions were reported in these cases. Benign stricture of the oesophagus was the commonest finding, and led to active treatment (dilation) in most cases either with Hurst bougies or Eder dilators. Fifteen patients had upper gastro-intestinal malignancy (12 oesophagus, three stomach). All of those with oesophageal carcinoma received some form of active treatment, either in the form of radiotherapy, surgery, dilation or Celestin tube insertion. Six patients with negative endoscopies had diagnoses established by other means and in 14 no cause was identified, but in four of these symptoms settled after endoscopy. The duration of dysphagia was not particularly helpful clinically. Two thirds of 'endoscopically normal' patients had short histories with dysphagia for less than 1 year, as did half of the patients with benign stricture. Most patients who were found to be malignant had experienced dysphagia for only a short time although one patient had a 4-year history! Upper gastro-intestinal endoscopy is a safe and valuable procedure in elderly patients with dysphagia and often leads to positive therapeutic intervention even in quite frail subjects.

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Accession: 005359232

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 3604797

DOI: 10.1093/ageing/16.3.159

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