Upper and Lower Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Lesions in Patients with Unexplained Iron Deficiency Anaemia- A Cross-sectional Study
D-303, Ganeesham II, Pimple Saudagar, Pune-411027, Maharashtra, India.
Introduction: Anaemia, due to iron deficiency, is very common in India. In many cases, the underlying cause of iron deficiency remains unknown even after detailed laboratory investigations. It is often due to malabsorption of iron from the gut and occult blood loss from the Gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Bidirectional GI endoscopy can help in finding these causes.
Aim: To study the upper and lower GI endoscopic lesions in patients with unexplained Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA).
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional observational study, conducted on 75 patients with unexplained IDA in Dr. DY Patil Medical College and Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India, between June 2019 to June 2020. Patients above the age of 18 years and with Haemoglobin (Hb) of less than 13 g/dL (males) and less than 12 g/dL (females) underwent upper GI endoscopy and colonoscopy with biopsies, after ethics committee approval and informed consent. Complete haemogram with blood indices, iron studies and faecal Occult Blood Test (OBT) were conducted for all the patients. The patients were divided into Group A, those with upper/lower GI endoscopy lesions thought to be responsible for IDA and Group B, those without GI endoscopic lesions. Statistical analysis was performed using IBM, Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 21.0 and statistical tests (Chi-square test, Student’s t-test and multivariate logistic regression analysis, with 95% Confidence Interval (CI) and p-value <0.05 was taken as significant) were used when required.
Results: There were 44 females and 31 males in the study, with the age range of 20-81 years. The mean age of patients in Group A (n=44) was 58.57±11.68 years and Group B (n=31) was 49.68±14.45 years. On multivariate analysis, advance age, history of weight loss and faecal occult blood were statistically significantly associated with the presence of GI endoscopic lesions responsible for IDA (p-value<0.05). Maximum lesions responsible for IDA were found in stomach (48%), erosive and inflammatory lesions causing IDA were more common in upper GI tract. Peptic ulcers were found in 12% cases. The GI malignancies were found in 14.66% subjects. Colorectal cancers (8%) were more common than upper GI cancers (6.66%).
Conclusion: In patients with IDA, erosive oesophagitis and haemorrhagic gastritis were commonly found followed by peptic ulcers and malignant GI lesions on bidirectional endoscopy. GI endoscopy is a very important tool to diagnose the cause of IDA. All patients with advanced age, history of weight loss and a positive faecal OBT should undergo bidirectional GI endoscopy routinely.