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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-17

Gastrointestinal stromal tumor of the stomach: Evaluation and treatment in a poor-resource setting

1 Department of Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Pathology, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dauda M Mohammed
Department of Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Kaduna State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-9596.101256

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Background: Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) represent mesenchymal tumors arising from the gastrointestinal wall, mesentery, omentum, or retroperitoneum that express the c-kit proto-oncogene. In low-income countries, facilities for diagnosis are limited and the patients present late with large tumors. We present the evaluation and treatment of gastric GIST and highlight the difficulties in management of these patients in a setting of limited resources. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patients who were managed for gastric GIST from January 2001 to December 2010 in the Department of Surgery, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria. Information recorded included patient's demographic characteristics, clinical presentation, treatment, operative findings, and outcome. Results: There were 13 patients with histological diagnosis of gastric GIST. Their age ranged 31-67 years, with a mean of 48 years. All the patients were symptomatic and had palpable abdominal masses at presentation. Tumor size ranged 13.4-39.5 cm. Six patients had preoperative diagnosis of GIST, including two with immunohistochemical confirmation. Overall, seven patients had complete resection of their tumors. Four patients presented with gastric outlet obstruction and both peritoneal and liver metastasis. Five patients were on imatinib which they had taken for 3-13 months. Three patients had tumor recurrence 1-3 years after complete resection. Follow-up ranged from 1 month to 4.5 years. Five patients were followed up for more than 1 year. Conclusion: Due to lack of facilities for endoscopic ultrasound guided biopsy and immunohistochemistry, preoperative diagnosis was based on clinical and radiological features. Despite the large tumor size, complete resection is associated with good control of symptoms and prolonged survival.

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