Summary Background Prompt endoscopy should be considered as an initial strategy for uninvestigated dyspepsia in the background of high prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection and malignancy. However, with changes of disease patterns and dyspepsia definition, the prevalence of organic lesions at endoscopy in dyspepsia patients and the predictive values of alarm features and age for in malignancy remain unclear in Asian population. Aims To evaluate the appropriateness of prompt endoscopy as an initial dyspepsia management strategy, we investigated the organic lesion detection rates in Asian dyspepsia patients as well as the diagnostic accuracies of alarm features and age thresholds for malignancy. Methods Literature was retrieved from MEDLINE, PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library and CINAHL Plus. The prevalence rates of organic lesions and young cancer patients among dyspeptic patients and the sensitivities, specificities, likelihood ratios and diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) of alarm features and ages were estimated. The summary receiver operating characteristic curve was constructed and the area under the curve (AUC) calculated. Subgroup, sensitivity and meta-regression analyses were performed. Results Of the 18 included studies, 15 reported organic lesion detection rates, and six and five analysed the predictive values of alarm features and ages respectively. The overall malignancy detection rate was 1.3% (95% CI: 0.80-2.10). Among cancer patients, 17.8% (95% CI: 10.90-29.00) were younger than 45 years and 3.0% (95% CI: 2.50-3.50) were younger than 35 years. The diagnostic accuracy of alarm features for predicting malignancy was moderate (DOR: 4.87, 95% CI: 2.72-8.71; AUC = 0.74). The diagnostic accuracy at age >35 years (DOR: 9.41, 95% CI: 7.89-11.21; AUC = 0.82) was better than that at age >45 years (DOR: 3.50, 95% CI: 2.32-5.27; AUC = 0.70). Conclusions The malignancy detection rate and proportion of young cancer patients were high among Asian dyspepsia patients. Alarm features and age were of limited value for predicting malignancy, and prompt endoscopy should be considered as the initial strategy for dyspepsia in Asian populations. The optimal age threshold for endoscopy screening in Asia might be 35 years.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)