Aim To assess the five years prevalence of significant diagnoses of gastrointestinal tract in children evaluated by endoscopy.
Method We analysed the endoscopy records in “St. Mary“ Children’s Emergency Hospital from Jassy, Romania between 2009–2013, excluding follow-up endoscopies. We studied demographic and clinical variables, the indications for gastroeintestinal endoscopy and the endoscopic findings.
Results The endoscopy unit in our hospital deserves a population of about 1,400,000 paediatric patients (age 0–18) from North Eastern Romania. From 98,123 hospital admissions in the mentioned period with 13, 789 children admitted into the gastroenterology unit, 3439 digestive endoscopies were performed; from these, 88.75% were upper gastrointestinal endoscopies and 11.25% were colonoscopies. The main reasons for performing the endoscopies were: persistent vomits, pirosis, epigastric pain, hematemesis, significant weight loss, clinical suspicion of malabsorbtion, hyposideremic refractory anaemia, rectorhagia, hematochesia, chronic constipation. The incidence of the main diagnoses found at esogastroduodenoscopy represent from all the endoscopies: gastroduodenitis 82.73%, esophageal stenosis 2.94%, gastroduodenal ulcers 1.66%, foreign bodies 1.19%, esophageal varices and diverticula registered each the lowest procent of 0.12%. Analizing the colonoscopies ulcerative colitis were found in 9.74% of patients, while polyps in 1,51%. Gastrointestinal pathology was more frequent in females (62.93%), rural areas (59.00%), age 15–18 years being the most affected (40.39%).
Conclusions Even if digestive endoscopy in children is indicated in selected patients, it still remains the investigation of choice if symptoms persist for more than six months and the child has a family history of gastrointestinal pathology.